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GMP explain why they didn’t break up the large protest in Manchester this weekend

Hundreds took to the streets

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@marxistJorge / Twitter

A large protest took place in Manchester city centre over the weekend, with hundreds gathering to take a stand on a number of causes.

Protestors headed to St Peter’s Square on Saturday, March 20th, to voice their opposition to the new proposed crime legislation which would see police given additional powers when it comes to protests.

The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police the power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including any which officers think are too noisy or a nuisance, with people convicted under this legislation potentially facing a fine or jail.

According to reports, people also showed up to protest violence against women, to show their support for Black Lives Matter and there were even some anti-lockdown protestors.

Now a senior police officer has explained why officers didn’t disperse the protest, which also saw some crowds congregating in Piccadilly Gardens.

While under the current restrictions implemented from January 4th protests are illegal – which wasn’t the case under former restrictions – police units surrounded the gathering but didn’t break it up.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey has said that GMP adopted a ‘low key approach’ including encouraging protestors to socially distance and disperse, adding that officers have been gathering evidence against protest organisers and planned to focus their investigations on these people.

ACC Bailey said: “We were aware of several protests which took place yesterday across the City Centre and our position in regard to all protests during this lockdown remains that they do not meet what is an acceptable reason to gather during the lockdown.

“Public safety is a top priority for GMP, and in the lead up to these protests, police actively engaged with the organisers to explain government guidance and discuss alternate options in order to dissuade a public gathering from taking place.

“However when large groups choose to ignore that, we will always look to see whether it is safe to take action which would physically prevent the protest and disperse the crowd.

“A careful assessment was made about the policing approach and it was decided that a low key approach, which was sensitively policed, would be the most appropriate form of action.

“Proportionate action was taken on the day, and officers engaged with those present to encourage social distancing and dispersal of attendees.

“GMP will continue to make assessments of all gatherings that are felt to be unlawful and make a decision as to how best to protect the wider public from the spread of infection, our staff policing the event and those engaged in the protest.”

He continued: “Whilst no enforcement action was taken yesterday GMP has gathered evidence in relation to all the protests and will be concentrating our investigations against those who have organised these events and will where appropriate take enforcement action.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and it is vitally important that we all continue to play our part in helping to keep our community safe and protected.

“With the vaccination scheme in place, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must do everything we can to reduce the number of virus transmissions.

“Therefore, I would continue to appeal to the public to follow government advice and adhere to the legislation, which has been put in place to save lives. Help us to help you stay safe.”

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Sue Gray report set to be ‘published in full next week’ as partygate investigation ends

The police announced the end of their investigation today

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The long-awaited Sue Gray report into Downing Street misconduct during the Covid pandemic is due to be published in full next week as the police’s investigation concludes.

The report – which investigated a series of alleged breaches of Covid lockdown in 10 Downing Street and Whitehall – was completed in January, but the publication of the full document was delayed at the request of the Metropolitan Police as they completed their own investigation.

But today, the police announced their inquiry into Downing Street lockdown breaches has come to an end, meaning Gray’s report could be published as soon as next week.

A source close to Gray and her team said she now intends to publish her report ‘as soon as possible’, adding that it could come as early as next week, according to The Independent.

The shortened version of Gray’s report noted that there was a ‘serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government, but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time’.

Gray also stated that because the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is ‘difficult to justify’.

Stand-out points from the report include:

  • There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times.
  • The excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time.
  • The use of the garden at No 10 Downing Street should be primarily for the Prime Minister and the private residents of No 10 and No 11 Downing Street.
  • The leadership structures are fragmented and complicated and this has sometimes led to the blurring of lines of accountability.
  • Some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviours they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so.

Flickr / Number 10

The police’s investigation resulted in a total of 126 fines, known as Fixed Penalty Notices, being issued for events across eight different dates.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were both fined for their involvement in parties and events held during the lockdowns.

Twenty-eight people have been issued with more than one fine, the force added.

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Full judicial review into inquest of Yousef Makki granted by judge

JUST IN

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Justice for Yousef Makki / Facebook

A judge has granted permission for a full judicial review into the inquest of Burnage schoolboy Yousef Makki.

The family of the seventeen-year-old – who died after being stabbed by friend Joshua Molnar in Hale Barnes in 2019 – called for a review to overturn the coroner’s verdict on his death, which failed to conclude whether he had died either unlawfully or accidentally.

An application was made to High Court by a QC acting for Yousef’s father, Ghaleb Makki and, today (May 18th), at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, the review was granted.

Yousef’s father said of the decision: “There’s still a long way to go, but it’s a small step in the right direction.”

Matthew Stanbury, representing the Makki family, claimed the coroner’s ruling was ‘inevitable’ due to the failure to analyse and ‘grapple’ with central issues in the case. 

Mr. Stanbury said: “Today is a significant step forward and we are optimistic about getting a fresh inquest.”

Yousef died after being fatally stabbed in the heart by Joshua following an argument on the evening of March 2nd 2019.

The former public school student had met Joshua at Manchester Grammar School, where he had won a bursary to attend.

Joshua, who comes from a wealthy family in Hale, later admitted to stabbing Makki with a knife he had bought online ‘with ease’ during a school break time.

Justice for Yousef Makki / Facebook

However, a jury acquitted Joshua, now twenty, of murder and manslaughter later that year, with him instead been handed a sixteen-month detention and training order after admitting possessing the knife which inflicted the fatal injury and lying to police at the scene.

He says he acted in self-defence, alleging Yousef pushed and punched him and called him ‘p*ssy’.

Following November’s inquest, Senior South Manchester Coroner Alison Mutch recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: “Yousef died from complications of a stab wound to chest.

“The precise circumstances in which he was wounded cannot, on balance of probabilities, be ascertained.”

The family’s formal application argued the coroner’s ruling was ‘unreasonable’ as it ‘failed to address or make findings on central matters in the case such as to enable her to reach a conclusion – on the balance of probabilities – as to the lawfulness of the killing’.

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Teenage girl rushed to hospital after being ‘badly’ bitten on face by dog

The teenage girl was allegedly helping an elderly man get his dog back into its harness

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Google Maps & GMP

Police are appealing for information after a teenage girl was ‘badly’ bitten on the face by a dog in a Trafford park.

The incident happened in Navigation Park in Altrincham last night (May 17th) at around 9pm, when the victim, aged seventeen, attempted to put the dog’s harness back on.

While she was doing this, the dog allegedly bit her on the face and cheek, causing ‘substantial’ injuries.

She then had to go to the hospital for treatment.

Google Maps

In a post on the GMP Trafford South Facebook page, police implored for witnesses to come forward with more information about the incident and the man and dog involved.

The statement reads: “On the evening of 17th May 2022, at around 2100hrs, there has been an incident in Navigation Park, Altrincham involving a male who was in company with a dog and a 17-year-old female who has been badly bitten by the dog present. 

“The male has been described as a white male, approximately 70 years old, around 5ft 9, unstable on his feet, wearing a long brown leather jacket, with a bobble hat and a walking stick.”

The police went on to describe the dog as a ‘mostly white dog, similar to a Labrador however crossed with another breed with a small amount of ginger fur on its back’.

It was also noted that the dog was ‘quite skinny’ and wore a red harness.

The statement continued: “The female had been helping the owner put the dog’s harness on when the dog has bitten the female to the face, causing a substantial injury to her mouth and her cheek, requiring her to have to attend hospital for treatment.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information on the incident have been urged to get in touch with the police via 101 or Live Chat in reference to Log 3423- 17/05/22.

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