A crackdown on violence against taxi drivers is one of several police operations being rolled out this summer to tackle anti-social behaviour across Bolton.

This comes amid recurring incidents of violence in the borough, with attacks on cabbies one of the most striking concerns.

In response, Operation Clamp has been launched by Greater Manchester Police to confront crimes against taxi driver such as stone throwing and attacks.

Cllr Mudasir Dean, Bolton Council cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “I’ve had a number of meetings with taxi drivers who are concerned about this, and I’ve even been out with drivers.

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The operation is aimed at protecting taxi drivers

“It’s something that’s been going on for a long time which we’ve raised with our police partners and drivers have often found it difficult in some areas particularly around Tonge and Breightmet.

“But police have stepped up, they’ve been doing a lot of awareness raising in schools, because some of the violence has come from young people throwing stones and eggs and things like that.”

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Attacks on taxi drivers have been of particular concern

As well as school visits, the operation has seen repeat offenders banned from taxi services, several arrests made.

This comes amid wider efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour which police say people in Bolton have named as a top priority after incidents in Great Lever, and the Bolton Interchange in the town centre in March and as recently as last week in Little Lever which saw flowerpots damaged at the village library.  

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In many cases cars have been damaged

Cllr Sean Hornby, who represents Little Lever, said: “To a certain degree the pots being damaged is quite trivial but when you’ve got the soldiers being beheaded at the cenotaph next door, when you’ve got the roof at the library being damaged and youths throwing stones at cars it all gets more serious.”

He added: “It just wants a crackdown, I’m a bit sceptical that more centres for young people would mean they wouldn’t do this because the youths who get involved in this, they just don’t want to be engaged with anything that’s organised.”

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Damage to flower pots in Little Lever have been a more recent example of anti-social behaviour 

Police say their efforts are set to increase over the coming months.

Inspector Duncan Haynes said “Most people are law-abiding citizens but unfortunately there is a minority who don’t always think about the consequences of their actions and the devastating impact that these actions can have on victims.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their communities and by working alongside our partners to target anti-social behaviour, we reinforce the message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”