By Andrew Greaves
Greater Manchester Police have this morning arrested 16 people in connection with August's riots which wreaked havoc on the city.
Operation Valant was launched by Greater Manchester Police to identify and arrest those involved in the widespread disorder across Manchester city centre and Salford on 9 August.
Today, following a series of dawn raids across Salford, north and central Manchester and Bury, police have arrested 13 people wanted on suspicion of arson, violent disorder and looting. A further three people were arrested as part of the operation on suspicion of unconnected offences.
Officers have also recovered suspected stolen clothing and other items and uncovered a large cannabis farm.
All remain in custody pending further inquiries.
In the near three months since the disorder, Greater Manchester Police has launched a huge operation to target suspected offenders, arresting more than 350 people and putting more than 200 of those before the courts.
Many of these have arrests have been carried out thanks to support from the public, who have come forward and put names to CCTV images the force has published on its Flickr site and in the local and national media.
To generate those images, officers have recovered and trawled thousands of hours of CCTV to identify potential suspects.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, who leads Operation Valant, said: "What today's action shows is that almost three months since the disorder, we are still relentlessly pursuing those suspected of being involved in the shameful actions we saw that day.
"We know from talking to our communities that what happened on 9 August continues to provoke feelings of anger and outrage. Many shopkeepers are rebuilding their livelihoods and people are still trying to come to terms with the violent and ugly scenes the police and the public were faced with.
"That is why Greater Manchester Police is continuing to arrest anyone suspected of being involved in the disorder. As today shows, whether it is a matter of days or months, we will be coming through the doors of anyone involved whether it is a looter, an arsonist, those who attacked police officers or even those who used social networking sites to stir up trouble.
"The public, police and judiciary have all shown they will not tolerate the appalling criminal behaviour we witnessed in August. This has been reflected in the speed at which people have been brought to justice and the sentences they have been given."