More than a dozen people have been arrested after Bolton businesses, as well as those in Bury, and across Greater Manchester were targeted and red paint thrown on the buildings.

Barclays Bank in Bolton was one of the businesses targeted, with the branch's windows smashed and red paint thrown inside last month.

Palestine Action claimed responsibility for the attack on the branch.

A town centre office building also had red paint thrown on it in March of this year.

The businesses were a number targeted between October 9, 2023 and July 1 of this year.

Detectives say they have had 21 such incidents of criminal damage.

Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the incidents, with eight charges brought.

Officers say that such incidents are taken 'extremely seriously'.

The damage caused to the businesses targeted is estimated to value hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Five of the people arrested remain on police bail whilst enquiries continue, with one in custody for interview.

The latest arrest comes today (Thursday 4 July 2024) where a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage relating to 11 incidents across Greater Manchester.

A portal for the public to submit CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage of these incidents which may help investigations has also been opened.

Police say they are working closely with the impacted businesses and local authorities to provide support to victims, witnesses, and members of staff; crime prevention advice; reassurance and "ensure those responsible are identified".

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Detective Inspector Jill Billington leading the investigations, said: “These incidents have undoubtedly caused significant disruption to these businesses, but even more so to members of the public who work there. Many are now in fear of further criminality taking place.

“It is also not just the businesses and employees that are impacted, but the wider community including people who need to access the services, such as vulnerable people who need to attend in person. We want everyone to feel safe in our towns and cities.

“We recognise that there will be people who wish to participate in peaceful and organised protest. However, these incidents of damage have crossed the line into criminality. Such behaviour won’t be tolerated, and we will take action.”