GREATER Manchester Police turn 40 today — and have released pictures from their archive of policing in Bolton to mark the milestone.

The force responsible for policing Bolton was formed on April 1, 1974, when Manchester and Salford Police joined with parts of Cheshire Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary.

A special five-a-side football tournament will be hosted by Bolton police in Victoria Square on May 3 to celebrate the anniversary.

Vintage police pictures from the archives include the town’s first police car and officers on horseback outside the Grand Theatre in Churchgate in the 1940s.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “We grew out of borough and city forces that were very close to their communities and we have returned to that with our commitment to neighbourhood policing.

“What has changed is new technology and new ways of committing crime and different social attitudes, along with a more diverse community, and we have developed new specialisms to deal with this.

“The force now faces the greatest challenge in its history with the spending reductions, but will stick true to the principles of policing by consent.”

The police has been allocated £40,000 worth of funding from police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd as part of Project 40, which will continue to build strong relationships with the people of Greater Manchester.

GMP’s most notable achievements include continued investigations into the moors murders of the 1960s, investigations into serial killer Harold Shipman in 1998 and tackling the gun crime epidemic in south Manchester in the 1990s and 2000s.

This Is Lancashire:

Bolton police’s fast car in 1935

You can see more old photos of Bolton in our Looking Back section here.