Three thousand police officers hit the streets last Friday for Operation Admiral – a series of co-ordinated raids over a 24 hour period, aimed at hunting down Greater Manchester’s most violent drunken thugs.
During the operation 672 people were arrested and multiple weapons found including an AK-47 machine gun with a rocket launcher.
Manchester Evening News (MEN) reporter Dean Kirby was in the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) control room from 9am through till just after 5pm using Twitter to provide live updates to the MEN website, which were streamed via a CoveritLive blog.
Readers of Kirby’s coverage began leaving comments from as early as 11.35 am, one anonymously advising that ‘They need to concentrate more on Rochdale’.
Throughout the rest of the day sporadic messages of support filtered in from the public, one such said, ‘well done GMP keep up the good work’. In response assistant chief constable Garry Shewan thanked ‘the public for their strong support over the last 24 hours’.
The MEN’s online coverage provided a host of stories in the weekend’s print editions – broken down by the 12 divisions of the Greater Manchester Police – and several online follow-ups.
The MEN has previously made good use of data from news stories online – see its homicide map for the Manchester area – so figures from the raids could provide a starting point for new visualisations.