What’s in a name? Well, nothing much, apparently.

Or at least that’s the case when it comes to police operations, which often use unusual nouns.

Pavarotti, Island, Challenger and Foam have all been used by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for various operations in recent years.

And you’d be forgiven for thinking they may have a some significance.

But in truth operation names are mostly picked at random.

Police patrol Manchester city centre on a Saturday night

According to GMP operation names are generated, usually in alphabetical order, by the Force Intelligence Bureau

They work through a list of different themes, such as rivers and battles, and operation names are automatically generated by computer.

It’s much the same process for the Met Office when they are naming a new storm.

Care is taken to make sure that inappropriate names are discarded.

And of course, not all are without meaning.

Senior investigating officers may occasionally choose a name if it has particular significance.

Operation Treacle, for example, is the force’s annual response to tackling anti-social behaviour up to and during Halloween and Bonfire night.

In 2018, three people were jailed for a string of robberies targeting delivery drivers. They were caught through Operation Pavlova.

While Operation Heamus - launched to tackle a violent gun war between two crime groups in Cheetham Hill - takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon for someone living in a house situated at a border.

A GMP spokesperson said: "Names are generated by our Force Intelligence Bureau and are usually in alphabetical order and go through lists of different themes e.g. names of rivers, or names of battles.

“The names are automatically generated from there.

“If an op name is inappropriate for whatever reason then of course it can be replaced and likewise if an op may require a unique name (e.g. Op Treacle for Halloween) then that can be requested too.”