Police launch Operation to crackdown on 'rogue' meet and greet firms at Manchester Airport

22/06/22 Meet and greet scam
The arrests come after a crackdown by police on 'rogue' meet and greet car parking firms at Manchester Airport. Credit: MEN Media

Two people have been arrested after some holidaymakers returned to find their bonnets missing, 3,000 miles added to the clock or their cars left in boggy fields.

The arrests come after a crackdown by police on 'rogue' meet and greet carparking firms at Manchester Airport.

Officers moved in on two sites in Styal near Cheshire after 55 complaints were registered in just six months.

The first was at Lode Hill in Altrincham Road where there have been 42 incidents reported in the last 12 months.

Officers launched Operation Cicaro aimed at cracking down on rogue firms. Credit: MEN

They also visited another on Moss Lane in Styal where there were 23 reports in two days in April, when keys to 150 cars disappeared for a time.

Inspector Andrew Baker, Beat Manager at Macclesfield Local Policing Unit said: “While many of these businesses are not illegal, some of the activity taking part on their sites is and some the services they are providing are questionable, hence today’s operation."He added: "What we want ultimately, is for the businesses to operate in an ethical and lawful way. That's the ultimate aim."

The reports mentioned cars being stolen, damaged and also being driven thousands of miles away.

Credit: MEN

One traveller said they returned from a two-month trip to find 3,000 miles had been added to their mileage.

Another mentioned their bonnet had been stolen, while there was a fire at one site in May where a number of cars were reported to have been damaged.

Cheshire Police said holidaymakers have found the firms via online comparison sites, giving the impression they are booking with professional and secure airport parking linked to the airport.

However, these firms are not affiliated with the airport in any way and vehicles are often being left on muddy fields or residential streets while their owners are away.

Police eventually resolved this and reunited the car owners with their keys allowing them to leave.

In April alone, 150 people returning from trips abroad came to find their cars stuck in a boggy field in Styal, with the keys missing and the firm they booked with not answering calls.

Credit: MEN

Police are advising people to do research online and have a look at what sites have good reviews.A Manchester Airport say they will continue to work with the police to raise awareness of the risks posed by booking airport parking through these immoral companies.The airport said that in addition to their own official parking products, there are a numberof reliable and reputable third-party providers located near the airport.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know