A police operation to reduce robberies on a housing estate in Bolton has been hailed a success.

In 2021 police drafted resources into an unnamed estate after residents spoke up about knife crime and robbery in the area.

Together with other authorities the police applied for a public safety protection order and made changes on the estate, which included improved lighting, new fencing and alley gates.

Since then there has been a 72 per cent reduction in robberies.

Now the operation has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious The Tilley Awards, which recognise and celebrate the very best examples of problem solving in UK policing.

Greater Manchester Police is the only force to have secured two finalist positions in the national awards.

The second finalist is an initiative which was launched in November 2022, codenamed Operation Vulcan, the force’s response to tackling the counterfeit trade and organised criminality which was embedded into Cheetham Hill and Strangeways.

In just eleven months, officers seized over 1,000 tonnes of counterfeit items which equals a staggering £137 million, made over 200 arrests, seized 1.5 million illicit prescription drugs, seized over £400,000 cash, and reduced violent crime by over 50 per cent in the area.

The overall Tilley Awards winner will be unveiled at the National Problem-Solving Conference being hosted by South Yorkshire Police from Tuesday 3 October to Thursday 5 October.

Chief Superintendent Emma Taylor, Head of the Prevention Branch and the Strategic Lead for Problem Solving, said: “I am thrilled that we have two finalists this year. It is a huge achievement for GMP and further evidence of our journey as the most improved force in the country.

“The awards showcase the very best examples of problem solving in policing throughout the country.

“We were the only force in the UK to have more than one problem solving initiative in the shortlist of 10.

“This all highlights our commitment to becoming a police force with prevention and problem solving at our core, and the fantastic progress we have made in this regard.

“We know that problem solving is very effective at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping our communities safe.

“Having two initiatives make the final is a great example of how we have worked with our partners to achieve excellent results.”