Two teens who were members of a gang are responsible for committing violent street robberies across Manchester City Centre.
The boys aged 16 and 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are the last of a group of 16 to be sentenced for their part in a crime spree in the summer of 2018 and have boh been given two-year detention orders.
Members of the group – whose ages range from 13 to 16 – were arrested and charged with 114 offences as part of GMP’s Operation Valiant, an ongoing police crackdown on personal robberies.
Today’s sentencing means the whole group, which had threatened, attacked and robbed young and vulnerable victims before stealing their money, clothing and phones, have received detention orders totalling 164 months, that is equivalent to more than 13 years.
Their crimes, which were committed in various locations including Piccadilly Gardens, the Urbis building and Cathedral Gardens, included robbery at knifepoint. Their youngest victim was only 11-years-old.
Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle, from GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: “This brings to a close what has been a complex and difficult police investigation and sends out a clear message that GMP will do all it can to protect the public from antisocial and violent behaviour.
“The boys who have been sentenced today are the last of the group to face justice for preying on mainly young and vulnerable people in Manchester City Centre. They inflicted both physical and psychological injuries on their victims, some of whom have been brave enough to give evidence against them.
“Operation Valiant is a dedicated police operation which will continue to work tirelessly to tackle the issue of personal robbery and keep the people of Greater Manchester and their belongings safe.”
In addition to the detention orders, 12 members of the group have already received Criminal Behaviour Orders which ban them from associating with each other and from entering Manchester City Centre.
Launched in February 2018, Operation Valiant aims to reduce personal robberies by deterring offenders and educating the public about the risks and different steps they can use to keep themselves safe. So far the operation has resulted in 290 arrests.
Tactics have included specific deployments of officers in key locations to disrupt offending, as well as working with Transport for Greater Manchester to have signage on trams with messages not only with safety advice to the public but deterrent messages to offenders alerting them to police presence.
The operation also includes working closely with partners, Manchester City Council, to ensure that the legislation available is used to apply for Criminal Behaviour Orders to ensure offenders are banned from the city centre,