The head of policing in Oldham has moved to reassure members of the public that there are measures in place tackle crime in the town.
Addressing recent events, Territorial Commander for Oldham’s policing borough Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, said: “Over the past six weeks, we have seen a number of serious incidents in Oldham that have understandably caused concern to local people and our number one priority is to do everything we can to put a stop to this.
“Thanks to the painstaking work by officers on the division and assistance from our partners and members of the public, we have been able to make a number of arrests in relation to these incidents, some of which have resulted in people being charged and appearing in court. For example, following the attack at Freehold Metrolink stop, three people have been charged with attempted murder and will stand trial in September. Charges have also resulted in respect of separate incidents in relation to the tram network.
“People rightly expect to feel safe in their community and we are absolutely committed to making Oldham as safe as possible. This means we continually review how we are doing things. In Oldham we have recently begun to trial a new approach to shift patterns, which has allowed me to increase the number of neighbourhood inspectors in each area to work directly with partners and communities.
“In response to antisocial behaviour on public transport, specifically on the Metrolink, there is a joint operation in place between officers from Oldham and Rochdale, the TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) and Oldham and Rochdale Councils. By working together, we are able to identify key protagonists and take action, where necessary, including arrests and encouraging help from youth workers for example, who are also working with us. This operation will be in place for some time but we are also exploring options under the TSP and Oldham Council about longer term measures.
“We want people to enjoy visiting Oldham and taking advantage of all the town has to offer. We have increased patrols in the town centre at the weekends – the busiest time for our officers – so people can be reassured we are there if they need us and they can talk to us if they have any concerns.
“This is however, not simply a matter for police; we need the support of local people, parents, agencies and local businesses, to name a few. It is everyone’s responsibility and we can only make positive change with your help so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who are already working with us by passing information onto us and reporting your concerns. By doing this, you are helping us make Oldham a safer and better place.”
The Greater Manchester TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) exists to keep the public transport networks across Greater Manchester safe, by offering reassurance to passengers and preventing and dealing with incidents of crime, antisocial behaviour and fare evasion. It is led by GMP and TfGM, with support from KeolisAmey Metrolink and bus operators Stagecoach Manchester and First Manchester.