metal arches in Piccadilly Gardens, guarded by GMP

Greater Manchester Police have implemented ‘Operation Vulcan’ in Piccadilly Gardens in bid to reduce knife crime

  • Operation Vulcan has spread to Piccadilly Gardens
  • Piccadilly Gardens ‘knife arch’
  • Greater Manchester Police tackling knife crime

Police have brought Operation Vulcan to Piccadilly Gardens after huge success in the operation at Cheetham Hill and Strangeways.

The operation is a strategy put into place that increases police presence in areas with high crime rate.

As people walk through the centre of the gardens, it is mandatory to pass through metal detectors.

This is a strategy put into place in order to catch criminals carrying dangerous weapons in the act. For those who are caught carrying weapons will be arrested and the counterfeit items will be seized.

two police officers arresting a man infront of police van
An arrest following Operation Vulcan

Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood said Greater Manchester Police “want Piccadilly Gardens to feel safer and become a more welcoming place for people to live, work, and socialise”.

Since 2020, the possession of weapons in Greater Manchester has increased by 27.5% and with the population of Manchester growing rapidly as well as being one of the largest student cities in the UK, the importance of safety and comfort for its residents is growing alongside it.

Operation Vulcan and the increased police presence demonstrates the urgency for change around Manchester City as the operation resembles the strict security measures in airports.

GMP say that since the beginning of the operation and the introduction of the ‘knife arch’, violent crime and public order offences have reduced by 50%.

Cheetham Hill and Strangeways

Just under a year ago, police launched Operation Vulcan in Cheetham Hill and Strangeways. Since then, they have seized over £1m worth of counterfeit items from the area, more than 200 shops have been shut down, more than 220 arrests have been made and more than £520,000 in cash seized.

collage of pictures showing seized illegal goods from Cheetham Hill
Seized good from Cheetham Hill

GMP’s commitments

GMP now say that their commitments for Picadilly’s operation focus on reducing knife crime but are also about raising awareness of ‘the damage caused by drugs trafficking and signpost support agencies to those most vulnerable’ and are taking a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to drug offences.

They aim to knuckle down on stop searches and have already made 27 arrests since the operation began.