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Specialist officers operating at this year’s Greater Manchester Christmas markets

This week sees the return of the Christmas markets to Manchester city centre and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are eager to welcome people to the city centre to enjoy the event.

As with any large-scale event, GMP are there to ensure the safety of all those attending and prevent crime from taking place. There will be an increased visibility of officers during the Christmas Markets in Manchester city centre, with additional neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs on duty around the markets, as well as specialist police officers including plain clothed officers and firearms officers.

Project Servator will also be in effect which involves unpredictable, highly visible police deployments, involving a broad range of assets including specially trained officers, supported by community engagement and communications to help disrupt hostile reconnaissance and criminality whilst reassuring and engaging the public.

Sergeant Lee Keefe, GMP's Project Servator coordinator comments that: “We would like to reassure the public that GMP will be closely monitoring Manchester city centre throughout the festive period. Our security plans are in place for the Christmas markets and visitors can expect to see lots of police across the city centre as safety is our main priority.

“There will be a mixture of highly visible activities such as officers on the streets, including firearms officers, our police dogs and horses, along with more covert operations such as plain-clothes officers and use of drones, CCTV and ANPR cameras to be our eyes across the city centre.

“We will be working alongside our partners and local businesses to ensure we utilise stewards, market staff and the general public to report anything suspicious to an officer.

“The safety and security of all those attending and involved in the markets is a priority for us over the coming weeks and I’d like to reassure the public that Manchester is a safe place to come and enjoy the festivities.”

Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: "We want everyone who comes to the Christmas Markets in Manchester to have the very best time possible and to feel safe whilst they're here with us.  Our partners at GMP do a great job of helping make sure our world-famous markets are a safe place for everyone to visit and we very much value the measures - both seen and unseen - that they put in place every day, all day, at the markets to make sure they are."

People are reminded that you can report anything suspicious to GMP via 101, or by using LiveChat on our website, and always dial 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can make a report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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