Bolton police have explained to residents why they have been out on the borough's roads so much recently.

Police have been carrying out speed enforcement over the last month as part of 'Operation Portman' after an increase in crashes on Bolton Roads, some fatal, saying "there is nothing more important than preserving life".

Police have set themselves up on particular roads considered hotspots for dangerous driving and reported many drivers for speeding and other traffic offences.

GMP Bolton South took to Facebook yesterday to explain to the public why they have been patrolling roads so much recently, and have thanked the public for their support.

A GMP Bolton South spokesman said: "Today, officers from the Bolton South Neighbourhood Team, GMP Traffic and Transport unit have been out across Bolton conducting speed enforcement as part of Operation Portman. Later today, dedicated officers from Operation Portman will be out at other locations.

"When the officers are deployed, we don't hide; we're out in hi-vis stood in prominent positions. This is because the work we are doing is as much about being a deterrent as conducting enforcement.

"Last night at one of the locations we visited, we were conveniently positioned underneath a board advising motorists what speed they are doing. Some drivers still didn't slow down.

"Most of our teams conducting enforcement involve 3-4 officers; this is necessary as we can identify up to four cars at a time, as proven a couple of times last night.

"We do however only have limited resources and whilst we are trying to get to as many locations as possible, responding to your feedback, we might not get everywhere. We're hoping the sight of officer's out and about conducting this enforcement as well as the work on social media and in the local press will serve as a bit of a reminder to motorists when using our roads.

"We use both your feedback but also data from traffic cams, speed traps, speed cameras to inform the areas we visit.

"We don't just catch speeders on this operation, as part of Operation Portman we've also made arrests for both drink and drug driving, found vehicles in dangerous conditions and removed them from the roads, seized cars for no insurance, recovered stolen vehicles as well as issuing TOR's for other driving offences.

"In 2020, sadly far too many people have lost their lives on Bolton's road, many of whom were pedestrians. The work we are doing is about preventing further deaths and injuries on our roads.

"The work is not about collecting revenue or funding our Christmas party. Nothing pleases me more than when we set-up at a location but don't identify any speeding drivers.

"Thankfully the vast majority of comments from the public have been positive. We have received a lot of feedback about the standards of driving across Bolton's road and most people understand the need for this operation.

"I think everyone agrees there is nothing more important than preserving life.

"Particularly at this time of year when the road conditions are not great we want to make sure you get home safely. Please slow down."