Two men suspected of being out to steal arrested after car stopped in north Manchester

Two men are in custody after we found a number of weapons – including an axe and a machete – in the boot of car following a stop-search in the Strangeways area last night.

At around 11.20pm on Tuesday (2 November) a member of the public alerted us to seeing a small group of suspicious men with their faces covered putting a machete and an axe into the boot of a car on Bury New Road.

Armed response officers spotted a car that matched the description just 15 minutes later and stopped it in its tracks on nearby Waterloo Road, and we detained two men while we searched the vehicle.

We found the reported axe and machete in the boot, as well as seizing a lock knife from the trouser pocket of one of the men and the uninsured silver VW Golf they were in.

Two suspects ­– aged 27 and 31 – were arrested on suspicion of going equipped for stealing and possession of a bladed article. The 31-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of disqualified driving.

Both suspects remain in custody ahead of being questioned by our City of Manchester North District Investigation Team.

It’s the latest arrest to combat organised crime in the Strangeways area of the city in conjunction with the recent launch of our proactive blitz codenamed Operation Vulcan.

We’ve stuck to our pledge to increase the use of stop-and-search across Greater Manchester which has seen our searches go up by 275% and arrests rise by around 60%.

While our use of these powers has gone up – with around 11,500 vehicles and people being searched by our officers across the Force in the last year – we are working really hard to do this in a professional, proportionate, and respectful way as we carry out this important type of disruption activity.

It is therefore important for us that while searches are up 20%, the number of complaints we have received from those we have searched has gone down 40% over that same 12-month period.

We continue to see one in four searches result in positive action – such as making an arrest or seizing drugs and weapons – meaning more suspects are being brought into the criminal justice system, and more drugs and weapons are being taken away from our streets.

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