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Crackdown on organised gangs

Greater Manchester Police and Trading Standards have carried out a number of raids in their biggest ever operation to tackle organised crime.

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Police: "We cannot categorically say we have recovered 3D printed gun parts"

"We need to be absolutely clear that at that this stage, we cannot categorically say we have recovered the component parts for a 3D gun. "What we have seized are items that need further forensic testing by national ballistics experts to establish whether they can be used in the construction of a genuine, viable firearm. "We will also be conducting a thorough analysis of computers we have recovered to establish any evidence of a blueprint on how to construct such a weapon.

"Clearly the fact we have seized a 3D printer and have intelligence about the possible production of a weapon using this technology is of concern. It prudent we establish exactly what these parts can be used for and whether they pose any threat.

"What this has also done is open up a wider debate about the emerging threat these next generation of weapons might pose.

"The worrying thing is for me is that these printers can be used to make certain components of guns, while others can be legitimately ordered over the Internet without arousing suspicion. When put together, this could allow a person to construct a firearm in their own home.

"Thanks to Challenger, which is the biggest ever multi-agency response to organised crime in Greater Manchester's history, we now have even greater resources to combat any emerging threats posed by organised criminal gangs, which may include the production of these weapons.

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood

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