Police chief vows to 'seize your granny's flat and mum's car' in fight against criminals

Wigan's new Police Superintendent Emily Higham. (SWNS)
Wigan's new Police Superintendent Emily Higham. (SWNS)

A new police chief has warned criminals she is willing to “seize their granny's flat and mum's car” if they continue to offend.

Chief Superintendent Emily Higham, of Greater Manchester Police, sent the stern message as she pledged to crack down on “hardcore baddies” following her appointment as Wigan’s district commander.

She made a plea to use all the tools available to help police the community amid rising tensions in the area. 

Ch Supt Higham said: "There are those that are out there raping and pillaging people walking around carrying knives and involved in organised crimes.

“For those hardcore baddies? We'll get your belly against my counter, because that’s what it’s about.

“We are going to target you, we are going to arrest you, we are going to make sure that you are on our radar,

“I’m gonna seize all your assets, I’m gonna seize your granny’s flat and your mum’s car and I’m going to come and target you because you are a blight on the communities.”

A view of Wallgate in Wigan, Lancashire, England, UK. The railway station Wigan Wallgate is on this road, which leads down to the canal and building known as Wigan Pier.
Wallgate in Wigan, Lancashire. (Getty)

Ch Supt Higham, originally from Norley Hall in Wigan, has the task of restoring the relationship between the public and GMP after the force was placed in special measures in December 2020.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published a damning report exposing its failures around recording crime and protecting vulnerable people.

And another report deemed the force was performing so badly it was putting the public at risk.

Ch Supt Higham described her new role as police chief in her hometown as a ‘dream come true’.

She added: “I’m born and bred, I’ve never, I’ve never wanted to move. My family and friends are all here which makes it a little more special for me.”

In a career spanning almost 30 years that began in Wigan as a response officer, Ch Supt Higham has built up a formidable reputation that has seen her pioneer and break records within GMP working in places such as, Salford, Bury, Cheetham Hill and Moss Side.

In April 2019, she was awarded the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) Lifetime Achievement Award for her work.

She was the first female Detective Chief Inspector and Superintendent in the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the first female Chief Superintendent within the Operational Communications Branch, and the first female head of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Ch Supt Higham has vowed to crack down on criminals. (SWNS)
Ch Supt Higham has vowed to crack down on criminals. (SWNS)

During her stint in Moss Side, she took on the nickname ‘Dirty Harriet’ as a nod to the Clint Eastwood character Dirty Harry.

Ch Supt Higham said: “I was posted to the gun and gang unit in Moss Side because I was the first female head of organised crime.

“I remember saying to my husband, crying: ‘What do I know about guns and gangs? And it’s on the other side of Manchester.’

“And he said to me: ‘Shut up Dirty Harriet and get on with it!’

A major focus in Ch Supt Higham’s career was the implementation of the first domestic violence court in Greater Manchester, training magistrates, judges, crown prosecutors and the media on the challenges surrounding domestic violence and the needs of victims.

Ch Supt Higham returned to GMP following secondment as head of the North West Regional Crime Unit.