It requires collaboration with a range of organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as a positive, reciprocal relationship between these agencies and the law-abiding public. In recognition of this, Programme Challenger was launched in 2013 to send a clear message to all communities in Greater Manchester that this type of criminality would not be tolerated and that there is strength in collaboration which will make this approach more effective in stopping organised crime than ever before.
At the heart of Programme Challenger is a co-located, multi-agency team whose role is to oversee and coordinate activity to tackle organised crime across Greater Manchester. It is the responsibility of this team to gather information and intelligence about organised crime, to map who the groups are and where they operate and put strategies in place to target, disrupt and prosecute the organised criminals who orchestrate this criminal activity. In each of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester there is an operational Challenger team, whose role is to manage the organised crime threat on a local level through neighbourhood-based partnership arrangements using various overt and covert tactics. In addition to traditional methods of targeting criminals, these teams also use a variety of regulatory tools and enforcement powers to target people, gangs, businesses and premises where organised criminal activity is taking place.
In addition to targeting offending behaviour and prosecuting criminals involved in serious and organised crime, Programme Challenger is committed to ensuring that individuals and communities affected by these crimes receive appropriate protection and safeguarding. People may become victims of these crimes in many ways: they may be directly affected as a victim of trafficking, slavery or exploitation, or they are a victim of fraud or economic crime; or they may live in a community where organised criminal groups operate; or they may have friends or family members who commit offences of serious and organised crime which by association puts them at risk of harm. Programme Challenger works closely with local authority social care (both adults and children) as well as health services and voluntary organisations to ensure that victims are identified and provided with the relevant support based on their needs.
In each of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester there is an operational Challenger team, whose role is to manage the organised crime threat on a local level through neighbourhood-based partnership arrangements using various overt and covert tactics.