A teenage boy was ‘stabbed in the stomach and arm’ after being approached by a gang before an horrific assault.
The stabbing is just one of a slew of incidents which has caused concerns around ‘serious youth violence’ in Oldham, say police, prompting no less than 15 arrests.
Officers were called to reports of a stabbing just after 7.30pm on July 22 in Oak Road, Limeside.
A 14-year-old boy had been ‘approached by a large group of people who assaulted him’, according to Greater Manchester Police.
The young teenager was driven to an address in Failsworth, where emergency services treated him before he was rushed to hospital with stab wounds to his stomach and arm.
Before the assault, a dispute had taken place in which two properties and a car were criminally damaged and the windows were smashed, the force added.
Two men aged 53 and 20, and a boy aged 14, were arrested on suspicion of affray. They remain on bail with conditions.
Greater Manchester Police’s Failsworth and Hollinwood Neighbourhood Team, in partnership with the Oldham Local Authorities Community Safety Team and other agencies, have today (August 19) launched Operation Helix.
The operation is aimed at tackling ‘serious youth violence’ in the Failsworth, Hollinwood and Limeside areas of Oldham.
Officers say they hope to educate young people and prevent them from ‘suffering harm at the hands of violent crime’, while also continuing to pursue anyone involved in this kind of criminal activity.
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As part of Operation Helix, a 15-year-old girl has also been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder in connection with this incident, and remains in custody for questioning.
To date, 15 people have been arrested in connection with the operation, and other incidents of serious violence, says the force.
Inspector Chris Julien from GMP’s Oldham District said: “We are aware incidents like this will have led to some concerns among people living in the Failsworth, Hollinwood and Limeside areas, and we want to reassure them that GMP alongside partners, remains committed to tackling these issues.
“We understand that serious acts of violence and anti-social behaviour can be extremely distressing; it is unacceptable and we will not tolerate the carrying of weapons or violence, and I hope our latest arrest hammers home this message.
“We fully appreciate that those involved are of a young age, so we’ll be seeking to engage with them, and heading into schools to help educate and inform them about the impact this kind of crime can have on them and their community.
“The launch of Operation Helix reinforces the ongoing work we’re doing to tackle these issues, and there will be an increased presence from police and partners in the neighbourhoods.
“But we can’t do this alone – I want to urge anyone who witnesses an incident or needs to report a crime, to please contact us via LiveChat or our reporting facility at gmp.police.uk. You can also contact us by dialling 101. Alternatively, you can make reports anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency. If you see something, say something, and we can do something.”
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “Anti-social behaviour has a detrimental impact on communities across the UK and we welcome the news that GMP have launched this operation to education and inform young people in Oldham.
“It’s great news that this operation is launching at a time when we all need to work together to help reduce crime and keep our communities safe.
“We hope our younger residents learn from this initiative as this kind of crime can have a huge effect on not just young people’s futures, but their families and friends as well.
“Oldham’s efforts to tackle criminal activity will never stop and we’d like to reassure residents we’re working with a range of partners to better understand our young people and the communities they live in.
“I believe this project will have a long-lasting positive impact on the lives of people in Failsworth, Hollinwood and Limeside.
“Just like Chris said, I urge anyone who witnesses a crime to contact Greater Manchester Police – we are stronger when we work together.”