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Op Caminada clamps down on organised crime in Oldham

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Uploaded on Nov 21, 2011

Five men have been arrested following raids at three addresses in Oldham today, 21 November 2011, as part of Operation Caminada.

Thousands of pounds in cash, a quantity of drugs as well as a Toyota Hiace and BMW 5 series were seized as part of the raids.

Operation Caminada has been set up to combat organised crime in the town. It involves a wide variety of agencies including Oldham Council working together to investigate individuals believed to be involved in organised crime.

The Operation Caminada team will investigate all areas of a suspected criminal's life including, their business interests, benefits and associates. The information they gather is used to build an intelligence picture and identify illegal activity.

The organisations involved can then use their various powers to make it more difficult for these individuals to pursue their criminal lifestyle, such as revoking their licences and freezing their benefits.

In the months since work on the initiative has begun, officers have started financial investigations into those businesses involved criminality.

Chief Superintendent Tim Forber, Oldham Divisional Commander, said: "There are people involved in organised crime in this Borough who don't abide by the norms of society. They often make vast sums of money, predominantly by selling drugs in some of our most vulnerable communities and represent a negative role model for young people growing up.

"Operation Caminada involves the police, Oldham Council and a whole range of partners who have agreed to use their collective regulatory powers to target these individuals. Often such criminals set up legitimate businesses in order to launder the money they make from other illegal enterprises. We will collectively work to disrupt those businesses and make it as difficult as possible for them to operate.

"It is important to stress that this is not a substitute for prosecuting criminals through the courts. So far this year we have undertaken in excess of 120 search warrants which have resulted in the prosecution of 111 individual offences of supplying controlled drugs. We have also seized more than £150,000 in cash from criminals. This operation will complement that work and deliver a clear message to people involved organised crime that they are not wanted in this Borough.

"The public can also help us by letting us know who they believe is living off crime. Information can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or you can contact police on 0161 872 5050."

Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council's Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
"Organised crime is a serious blight on local communities and can only be tackled effectively by co-ordinated partnership working by Oldham Council alongside the police and other agencies.

"We are prepared to stand up and fight for our neighbourhoods because it is our ordinary law-abiding residents and businesses who suffer the effects of organised crime in its various guises such as street corner drug dealing, illegal firearms, money laundering, blackmail, identity theft and fraud.

"The victims of these crimes are often the most vulnerable members of society who suffer long-term damage as a result, and we need to reduce that vulnerability by taking action and raising awareness to enable people and businesses to protect themselves.

"Intelligence is obviously also a very important part of tackling organised crime and I would urge any residents with information about these kind of activities to report it to the police.

"By working together co-operatively to detect and deter these criminal networks we have a better chance of putting them out of business and improving lives across our neighbourhoods."

Visit our website to find out more about Greater Manchester Police - http://www.gmp.police.uk

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