Bolton police officers  were out in force this morning as part of a day of action to tackle vehicle crime in what has been called a day of action.

Bolton police chief, Superintendent Danny O’Neil has been appointed as new force lead for vehicle crime.

The Bolton News: The man was arrested

Although, theft of vehicles has fallen in the past 12 months, there has been an increase in car cannibalism, where criminals rip off the front end of vehicles, leaving the engine exposed.

There have been a number of cases in Bolton of car cannibals targeting vans, including vehicles belonging to a dealership.

Today, police raided a number of properties as part of their investigation into vehicle crimes in Bolton.

Three arrests were made, two were in connection with vehicle crime.

Speaking at Bolton Police Station, Supt O'Neil  said that over the past year the theft of vehicles in Bolton has fallen 12 per cent and across Greater Manchester vehicle related offences have dropped 10 per cent.

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He said: “The Chief Constable has made it a vehicle crime key objective.

“We want to improve our investigative opportunities and to action more of these.

“The Chief Constable wants us to be outstanding in the areas of crime, robberies and burglary, vehicle crime is a part of that. There are things we can do better."

The Bolton News: Vehicle crime boss Danny O'Neil has vowed to improve on car crime

He added: “It is not a victimless crime.It a builder has his van stolen then he isn’t working the next day. We rely on victims telling us about it.

“People need to have confidence in reporting it.”

He spoke about car cannibalism, which has affected Bolton with incidents in Horwich and at a car dealership.

He said: “We have seen a rise in that across the force.

“We have seen it going on at forecourts.

“People at home can park a vehicle with the front right up against a wall which can reduce the opportunity for it to take place.

“Cut locks can also ensure a vehicle is not stolen.”

The Bolton News: Police on the scene

Supt O'Neil  said it was unclear it this was being done to steal parts of as part of organised crime.

He also spoke about catalytic converter thefts, which taxi drivers in Bolton previously complained of as a major issue.

But the superintendent said this had fallen but that it is still an issue which police continue to investigate.

Supt O' Neil said: "I would like to highlight that our fight against vehicle crime and our efforts to prevent and tackle it will not stop here, neighbourhood officers continue to work hard both out and about in your neighbourhood and also behind the scenes to reduce vehicle offences in Greater Manchester.

“Vehicle crime, along with all neighbourhood offences, are intrusive and those responsible show a complete disregard for their community and our public, rightly, expect a great service from us including intensified activity that will keep you, your property and your community safe from crime.

“We will absolutely continue to take action against those we believe are responsible for neighbourhood crime and intelligence from members of the public is vital and I would like to thank the public for their support so far with Operation Acquire, and I ask that you continue to report to us or Crimestoppers and follow our crime prevention advice on to keep yourself, your property and your vehicle safe from crime.

"If you have any information, however small you think that is, please contact us or inform Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111."

Police arrested a 26-year-old man on Johnson Fold today in connection with the theft of motor vehicles.

Following a search cannabis was found and a 22-year-old was detained for drug offences.

In Little Hulton a 33-year-old was arrested for the theft of a car and drug offences after a cannabis growth was discovered.