Police have launched an operation to help keep women in Bolton safe while on a night.

It is part of a wider initiative to tackle violence against women and girls and ensure they can enjoy their evenings out safely.

For the first time last night, each district in Greater Manchester saw a dedicated team of officers ascend on local town centres on the look out for anyone committing predatory behaviour, as well as engaging with local bars and partner agencies, in an effort to spread the word about the aims of the operation and what licensed premises can do to help us achieve our goal of making the region a safer place for women and girls to live and visit.

High profile policing like this will continue in the weeks to come.

Chief Superintendent Nicky Porter, force lead for violence against women and girls, said: “Op Lioness was initially launched as a pilot operation in Tameside but is now ready to go force wide and I am feeling really positive that we will be able to make a big difference. Predatory behaviour such as sexual harassment and assault is completely unacceptable and we want women to be able to enjoy an evening out without being nervous about walking home or having drinks spiked.

“The operation will take place every Friday and Saturday night moving forward and we will be covering not only local licensed premises and high streets, but transport links such as the trams and buses which will be monitored by our officers.

“As well as officers on the ground, we will also have staff in our control rooms monitoring CCTV in hotspot areas so patrols can be sent directly to any suspicious or dangerous situations which may be unfolding.

“We have had some great results from other gender-based violence operations including Operation Hideaway in the city centre where our officers have intervened and prevented potentially serious crimes from being committed against women.

“Gender-based violence is a force priority and we are fully committed to doing everything we can to make sure offenders face the consequences of their actions. It's not the responsibility of women to prevent themselves from becoming victims, it's down to us as law enforcers to target offenders and bring those responsible to justice.”