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Manchester’s infamous Counterfeit Street to be bulldozed by GMP

BREAKING: After decades of crime, Bury New Road is set to undergo a major transformation

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Manchester’s infamous Counterfiet Street is to be bulldozed as part of Greater Manchester Police’s radical move against a ‘national magnet for criminality’.

GMP has confirmed that the buildings on Bury New Road in the Strangeways area will be closed, compulsory purchased, and then flattened as part of a new operation known as ‘Operation Vulcan’.

This comes after the force established thirty-three organised crime gangs that had links to the area, which has been notorious for not only the sale of counterfeit goods, but also for illegal immigration, modern-day slavery, human trafficking and women being forced to work as sex workers.

According to police, these gangs each have links to mass money laundering, firearms, drugs, modern-day slavery, immigration – ‘anything that will give them a profit’.

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Buildings down Bury New Road have also been known to house cannabis farms, with residents commonly selling prescription drugs and other illegal substances.

But now, after decades of raids on the shops in order to seize and replenish tonnes of counterfeit clothing and goods, GMP is to work with Manchester City Council and other organisations to deliver a permanent solution.

Detective Supt Neil Blackwood, who is heading Operation Vulcan, said, as per the Manchester Evening News: “This comes directly from our Chief Constable. He has described Cheetham Hill as a place that is criminally hostile and he is not prepared to have that in his force area.

“Counterfeiting has been around for a very long time but the criminality has shifted into prescription drugs; people being exploited sexually and for their labour, and illegal immigration – a microcosm of criminality.”

Operation AVRO - Bury | Greater Manchester Police

GMP

And when asked if Operation Vulcan would eventually see the demolition of the buildings used for counterfeit sales and other crimes, he said: “Yes. We are going for closure orders, with Manchester City Council, then compulsory purchase orders.

“We are probably in the position of clear, hold, build. Clear it, and hold, so no one comes back, and then its Manchester City Council’s gift to give in terms of rebuilding. Most of those buildings will end up at the end of a bulldozer. Most unrecoverable, because they have been chopped and changed around.

“There has been a lack of consistency – we are there one day not the next, and that is where our chief has recognised that is a problem. So, we will be there everyday. I have more patience than them.”

He added that there is an established red-light district at the back of Strangeways, with people of Eastern European and Asian heritage saying they ‘don’t want to be here doing this’.

Operation AVRO | Greater Manchester Police

GMP

“In Cheetham Hill last year there were thirty-two referrals to the National Referral Mechanism. We are talking about street workers, some of whom have been here quite a long time.”

And speaking of the number of cannabis farms found in the area, Blackwood said Albanian gangs had taken vacant properties and converted them into the farms before forcing a ‘diverse range of people’ to work in them.

He said: “We are going into properties and finding people who are saying ‘I am not allowed out of here. I grow this, and that is my debt being paid off’. We are talking £10,000 per person.

“This is organised crime – counterfeit goods will make them a profit and counterfeit pregabalin which can kill people, makes them a profit.”

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on Monday, November 21st.

Detectives also believe the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

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Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, previously said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police believe the incidents happened at the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Mount Snowdon has officially changed its name following a petition

The petition got 5,000 signatures

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Raintheone / Wikimedia & George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

Mount Snowdon has officially had a name change, following a petition which garnered 5,000 signatures.

A county councillor from Gwynedd brought forward a motion which encouraged the local authority to drop the English name of both Snowdon and Snowdonia, leading to the petition.

Councillor John Pughe Roberts said the reason for implementing the motion was ‘all down to respect’ for both Wales and the Welsh language.

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The petition urged the National Park to formally use the Welsh names Eryri for Snowdonia and Yr Wyddfa for Snowdon.

And now, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will use both Welsh names, rather than the English versions.

Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move earlier this month, saying it was ‘a mark of respect for our cultural heritage’.

Naomi Jones, head of cultural heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: ”Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.

“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.

“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.

“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”

Raintheone / Wikimedia

However, the National Park will still legally have to use both the Welsh and English names in any official documentation.

Snowdon is one of the most well-known landmarks in the UK, and stands at 3,560ft – making it the highest mountain in Wales.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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