Police appeal after ‘steaming’ robberies on Oldham bus

On Friday 12th May 2023, at around 4pm, a series of robberies were reported to have taken place on a bus that was travelling up Lees Road, Oldham, in the direction of Uppermill.

Greater Manchester Police believe that a group of males have approached young passengers on the bus, demanded their mobile phones and personal items, and threatened them. On some occasions where people have refused, it has been reported that the group have physically assaulted them.

This type of gang crime is more common in larger towns and cities and often referred to as ‘steaming’. This is a criminal phenomenon where a group of individuals work together to rob and intimidate passengers on public transport, typically buses and trains. The name ‘steaming’ refers to the way that the group of individuals approach and surround their targets, often in a manner that feels suffocating, like being in a steam room.

While ‘steaming’ has been frequently reported in larger cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham, it has also now being reported in smaller towns across the UK. The tactic is often employed by gang members who use violence and intimidation to carry out their crimes. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile cases of ‘steaming’, which have prompted increased police attention and public awareness of the issue.

Police would like to speak to the males pictured below as it is believed they could assist with enquiries into the Oldham incident on Friday.

appeal Oldham bus robbers

Police are following a number of lines of enquiry but are appealing to passengers who may have been on the bus at this time or any members of the public who may have seen something that may assist enquiries.

Chief Inspector Amy Warden from GMP’s Oldham District said:

“Thankfully, no injuries have been reported but understandably a number of young people have been left shaken by these incidents.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the area of Oldham Road, Grotton on Friday between 4pm and 4:30pm, or any passengers on the bus who witnessed anything suspicious.

“Please also get in touch if you have any footage – including CCTV, mobile or dashcam footage – that could help with enquires.”

Information can be shared by calling 0161 856 4521 quoting log 2479 of 12/5/23. A report can also be made via GMP’s website: http://www.gmp.police.uk.

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Page last updated: Sunday 14th May, 2023 at 1745 hours

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Picture credit: GMP

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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