A dozen people have been arrested after a series of co-ordinated strikes in Bolton and Wigan this morning

The arrests come after serious disorder that followed the Bolton Wanderers-Wigan Athletic match on 19 August 2023 when around 50 people were involved in violence in Westhoughton.

Around 50 officers from Greater Manchester Police were involved this morning as more than a dozen addresses were targeted.

The 12 men aged between 16 and 58 are being questioned in custody having been arrested on suspicion of violent disorderThe Bolton News: Dawn raids

Seven people were arrested in Bolton and a further five in Wigan.

Superintendent Danny O'Neil, of GMP's Bolton district, said: "This was pre-planned disorder and innocent people were caught up in the violence.

"There is no place for this type of thuggery - people go to football matches to watch football, not to fight and cause trouble, and we want to ensure people can attend matches safely.

"The events of August overshadowed a well-planned, well-policed operation after a lot of work between GMP and the two clubs.

"The return fixture is in a few weeks and we want to send a message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

"The disorder took up a lot of GMP resources on the day, resources that should have been deployed elsewhere, impacting our ability to respond to other emergency incidents."

The investigation into the violence is still ongoing with a further two men arrested in August released on bail pending further enquiries.

A Section 34 Dispersal Order was issued on the day of the incident to ensure the group left the Market Street area of Westhoughton with one person needing hospital treatment.

Detective Inspector Tony Lunt, of Bolton CID, said: “The violence that took place in August will not be tolerated, which is why we have taken strong action today.

“Hours of officers’ body worn footage and CCTV footage from the incident have been reviewed as part of the investigation, which is still very much ongoing.

“We are still working to identify other people who took part in the violence that day so would ask anyone with any information should contact police.

“We will also be seeking football banning orders for anyone convicted of taking part in the violence.”

Anyone with information, dashcam footage or who was in the area at the time should contact police on 0161 856 5757 quoting log 2621-19/08/2023.

Information can also be reported via www.gmp.police.uk or 101, or shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.