A NEW detective unit made up of retired police officers says it has already dealt with 7,000 crimes.

Greater Manchester Police's Crime Investigation Team was launched by Chief Constable Stephen Watson in May in order to help take the pressure of officers on the frontline and to rebuild public confidence in the force.

The 14 supervisors and 95 investigators who make up the team will be based at stations across the city region and aim to ensure that every single reported crime is investigated, with the majority of victims being contacted within 48 hours.

Chief Constable Watson said: "Since the introduction of the team in May, it is proving a huge success and we've had really positive feedback from the victims of crime who we've managed to assist, helping them to build that confidence with the force surrounding reporting crime and the service they can expect to receive.

"A number of our reported crimes do not require an officer visit, which means our desk-based officers within the Crime Investigation Team are able to deal with those crimes, freeing up resources for the frontline officers to attend urgent ongoing crimes, whilst ensuring all victims are still heard and receive the necessary support regarding their reports of crime.

The desk based teams have been preparing "arrest packs" for frontline officers which identify suspects to be arrested and include completed enquiries.

More than 1000 of these arrest packs have already been issued with 750 also including information aimed at ensuring victims receive the proper levels of support.

The team have also used these skills to identify linked crimes and to identify prolific criminals.

In Bury, GMP claims that this has already lead to 10 per cent of the normal workload being relieved from response teams with an average of 90 crimes less for all five relief teams since May, allowing officers to spend more time on the front line,

Chief Constable Watson paid tribute to the work his new team has done so far.

He said: "The vast majority of the team is made-up from retired officers who hold a wealth of experience in regards to investigations and police knowledge and the team has proved an invaluable asset to the force as we start to build back that confidence with the public we serve and hold our promise that all crimes will be investigated."