SIX PEOPLE have been arrested in connection with Class A drug and gun offences in dawn raids as part of a crackdown on organised crime.

Five houses across Worsley, Whitefield and Cadishead were raided by police officers from Greater Manchester Police's Serious and Organised Crime Group at around 6am on Thursday after an investigation into the gang's use of encrypted communication services to organise their crimes.

Four men, aged between 27 and 42, and two women, aged 27 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to supply class A drugs and firearm offences.

Detective Inspector Justin Bryant said: "Today's action, arrests and seizures are yet another positive step forward in our continuing commitment to tackle the activity of organised criminal groups across Greater Manchester."

"The takedown of the encrypted Encrochat communication services has allowed us a deeper and more personal insight into the world that these people operate in and since 2020 we've been working tirelessly to decipher messages and identify all those involved in this activity."

Cash, cannabis, jewellery and electronic devices were also seized during the morning searches.

The arrests come as part of Operation Goodwin, an investigation into an organised crime group involved in the large scale supply of class A drugs and guns across Greater Manchester and the UK.

DI Bryant said: "The mammoth operation has seen over 200 arrests made so far and I have no doubt that these figures will continue to rise throughout 2022 as we continue in our fight against this type of criminality, removing those involved from our streets.

"These individuals may feel untouchable, but I hope these figures clearly demonstrate that GMP, alongside the NCA and other law enforcement agencies, will ensure the law soon catches up with them."

All six of the suspects remain in custody for questioning by detectives.