SIX teenagers have been arrested after police investigating a series of robberies against schoolchildren ­— including one in Prestwich ­— stormed five houses.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police's Operation Valiant team, assisted by the Cheetham Hill and Higher Blackley neighbourhood team, carried out warrants at the addresses across North Manchester and Salford in early morning raids and arrested six people - aged between 15 and 18 - on suspicion of robbery.

They all remain in custody for questioning.

A number of items of clothing and phones were seized and have been sent for forensic examination as enquiries continue.

These arrests are in relation to a series of robberies involving school children that took place in the Prestwich and Blackley area between Monday 22nd March and Tuesday 23 March 2021.

On March 22 a 14-year-old boy was robbed at Prestwich Clough at around 4pm. Police said he was approached by three armed males who demanded his phone.

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Sergeant Helen Fletcher, of GMP's Operation Valiant, said: "Ensuring the safety of our young people is something we take incredibly seriously, and I hope that today's arrests show the dedication and commitment of the team in investigating these offences.

"I am aware that there has been an understandable amount of concern from the community following these robberies, and I would like to reassure local residents that although we currently have six individuals in custody, our investigation does not stop here.

"Targeting school children with such violence is completely cruel and abhorrent. We will not tolerate this behaviour and shall carry on working tirelessly with our enquiries so that those responsible face justice.

"Even though a number of arrests have been made, proactive police patrols will remain present in the area as pupils arrive and leave school. If you have any concerns or worries, please speak to our officers who will be able to assist."