In the early hours of the morning, police raid a number of townhouses in Chadderton.
Aside from the distant rumble of traffic, the sleepy street is silent until an officer issues a roaring order.
“Police, come to the door!”
Moments later, a candle lights upstairs.
A dull-eyed man wearing a gray tracksuit approaches the door and shuts the police in.
A few minutes later, he is handcuffed and taken to the back of a Tactical Aid Unit van.
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The 31-year-old was just one of 10 people arrested across Greater Manchester this morning, Tuesday (November 17).
Warrants were also executed in Lancashire and Cheshire.
The men, aged between 20 and 51, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and burglary. They all remain in custody for questioning.
The arrests were made in connection with the protests at Old Trafford earlier this year.
Fans stormed the pitch, with thousands protesting outside the grounds on May 2.
United supporters broke into Old Trafford on two separate occasions to express their disgust at how the club was run by the Glazer family.
Several officers were injured after flares were unleashed and bottles and barriers were thrown at police and horses.
Late in the afternoon, more than 1,000 protesters gathered at Old Trafford and 200 at the Lowry Hotel in Salford.
The game was delayed until an official United statement confirmed that the game would be rescheduled for a later date due to “safety and security concerns”.
The match was played 10 days later, with Liverpool winning 4-2.
A full investigation was launched following the violent incident.
Detectives say they have spent months following several lines of investigation and reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV footage to identify those involved.
To date, 18 people have been arrested and five of them have been charged.
This morning, Detective Inspector Andy Fallows of GMP’s Major Incident Team issued a statement prior to the arrest warrants, which was also carried out in Miles Platting.
He said: “The violence and disturbance back in May, especially towards the police, was completely unacceptable and unnecessary.
“Our team has been working day in and day out since May to ensure that everyone involved is identified and facing the consequences of their actions. Today’s arrests are a significant step forward in our commitment to do so.
“We also publish pictures of men we would like to talk to, and I am convinced that there are people out there who will be able to provide us with credible information that will help us identify them. If you have any information or recordings that may help our inquiries, please contact us as soon as possible. “
“The operation is a response to the events of May 2, 2021, which started as peaceful protests at the Lowry Hotel and Old Trafford football stadium.
“Unfortunately, they turned into violence, which resulted in one of the biggest football matches in the world being postponed.
“During the afternoon, people forced into the Old Trafford football stadium on two separate occasions and once committed acts of violence, theft and injuries at the stadium.
“And afterwards, while in the forecourt, police officers assaulted, resulting in a large-scale disorder
“Today’s activity is to execute a series of orders from GMP officers, backed by colleagues from Cheshire and Lancashire police officers across the region to conduct searches and arrest a number of those responsible.
“We want to release photos of 36 people we would like to speak to in connection with these events.
“We are asking for support from members of the public to identify these people, so if anyone recognizes these people, we ask them to contact the police.
“If you recognize yourself in one of the pictures, we ask you to contact us, because next time it may be your address that knocks on the door first.
“We would also like to say that this was a violent incident.
“These people have behaved horribly, they have failed themselves, put our national sport to shame, and they have failed the city of Manchester.”
Anyone with information – or video recordings – should contact the police on 0161 856 8732 stating incident number 955 of 02/05/21.
Video and information can also be submitted to GMP’s Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/06GMP21M13-PO1.
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