The police have issued a statement as to why they didn’t put a stop to the two illegal raves in Greater Manchester this weekend, which saw thousands of people gathering.
A senior Greater Manchester Police officer has denied that the force was understaffed for the incidents, where over 6,000 people gathered across two illegal raves in Oldham and Trafford.
The rave in Carrington had around 2,000 people gathered and reportedly saw three separate stabbings and a rape.
At the same time in Daisy Nook, Oldham, there were 4,000 rave-goers in a large field, and a man sadly died from a suspected drug overdose.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes admitted that there had been no warning of a rave taking place in Oldham, and says the scale and size of the two incidents ‘came on us really quickly’.
The police ‘carefully monitored’ the gatherings, a decision Mr Sykes defended, saying the police needed to strike the right balance of ‘proportionality and fairness with our overall Coronavirus response’.
Officers intervened at the rave at Carrington when they were alerted to a stabbing, which has left an 18-year-old man with life-threatening injuries.
He received life-saving first aid from the police officers before the paramedics arrived, rushing him to hospital where he now is recovering.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes explained that there are a number of complexities in dealing with large crowds.
He said: “When you’re dealing with large crowds the police moving into those crowds is always a very delicate situation.
“The overriding principle is that we’re trying to keep people safe and we get asked quite a lot ‘why don’t you move in and disperse everybody?’. The biggest concern we often have is that if we don’t get the proportionate police action correct then other people can get hurt.
“So that assessment was about the fact that we had reports of someone injured when we moved in and actually gave first aid.
“Thankfully that person is recovering in hospital now and is speaking to the police about what happened.”
Many MPs, including Angela Rayner and Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston, linked the prevention of the event to lack of police officers.
The force’s staffing levels have fallen by a third over the last decade. Ms Green said: “That’s one of the reasons this was so irresponsible.
“Police are very stretched, all emergency services are and they could not have safely prevented the event.”
She added: “I think it’s an operational decision by the senior officers on the ground as to the best way to handle the incident but I’m certainly concerned that the police did not have sufficient resources to be able to prevent it.”
Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner said: “The devastating cuts to the police by the Tory Government mean that our hardworking and dedicated local police forces simply don’t have the resources to deal with spikes in incidents like we saw this weekend.”
ACC Sykes cited a 60 per cent increase in 999 calls to GMP overnight – with 1,516 made between 5pm on Saturday and 4am on Sunday morning. He has since denied that the force was understaffed and overwhelmed by the two gatherings.
He said: “Last night really felt like a busy evening in Greater Manchester.
“We have the resources. The events earlier in the day didn’t impact negatively on the resources that we had.
“We dealt with these incidents with the resources that we had to the very best of our ability considering the proportionate nature of the way that we work. We always have to work with people. We have to work with the communities. It’s about a proportionate response from police.”
GMP Facebook shared a poster which stated that ‘any person found at the RAVE or walking to the location will be challenged and directed out of the area.’
When asked why officers didn’t stop people gathering at either Daisy Nook or Carrington, ACC Sykes said: “It’s not about what we allow, it’s about how we respond to things that take place.
“The events up at Oldham – there was some information about a gathering taking place and there was a neighbourhood operation in place to try and gather intelligence and try and understand where it was and be able to respond where we could.
“The location of that changed and the scale of it changed very much from the intelligence that we had. Then as it developed we have to try and deal with it in as proportionate a way as we possibly can, considering our duty to keep people safe but also the complexity of dealing with large crowds moving into an area.
“The one down at Carrington we didn’t have intelligence well in advance of that one at all. That one came onto us quite quickly yesterday afternoon and into the evening.”
A 20-year-old man died from a suspected drug overdose following the gathering in Daisy Nook, police say he collapsed on the way home.
An 18-year-old woman who was raped in the rave at Carrington is being supported by specialist officers.
There were also three separate reported stabbings in Carrington. A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.
No further arrests have been made yet.
Manchester’s historic Portico Library awarded huge grant to secure its future
The funding has helped secure the future of the 218-year-old building
The Grade II-listed Portico Library will receive almost half a million pounds to transform the historic building.
The funding has helped secure the future of the 218-year-old building – a much-loved gem standing proudly on Mosley Street.
Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the £453,000 will see the treasured library undergo a huge revamp and preserve its book collection.
During its development, local communities in Manchester will be invited to help work on the project.
With particular focus on environmentally sustainable architectural plans, it aims to unite all three original floors of The Portico Library for the first time in 100 years.
The ground floor will be transformed into a ‘Northern bookshop’ which will hold educational activities, with areas for dining, exhibitions areas and meeting spaces.
While the upper floors will showcase the library’s incredible book collection and archives, which includes the first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
John Carpenter, Chair of the Portico Library, said: “The news that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting The Portico Library’s bold scheme to open up and share its extraordinary heritage and collection, to Manchester residents and visitors, is a major cultural signal to Manchester, the North and the UK.”
He added: “This visionary project, years in the making, fulfils our mission of working with the many people in Manchester to explore, share and celebrate their diverse stories and the city’s literary and global heritage.
“Embracing creativity, collaboration and inclusivity, the project will unlock the Library’s past to plan for the future. We would like to thank the National Lottery players who have made it possible to realise our vision.”
Handwritten note with ‘plan to kill’ Brianna Ghey found in accused girl’s room
The note was found during a police search
A handwritten note with alleged details of a ‘plan to kill’ transgender teenager Brianna Ghey was found by police in the bedroom of Girl X.
The crumpled paper note (pictured) was discovered by officers during a search conducted at the accused’s home in March, more than a month after the tragic death of the 16-year-old.
Brianna was found after being stabbed 28 times in Culcheth Linear Park, Warrington, earlier this year.
The teenager was discovered by dog walkers just after 3pm on Saturday, February 11th.
Girl X from Warrington and Boy Y from Leigh both deny murder. During the trial, jurors at Manchester Crown Court heard how Girl X sent a picture of the handwritten note to Boy Y on February 3rd.
The note began with the header: “Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey.”
It continued: “Meet Boy Y at wooden posts 1pm. Walk down to library…bus stop. Wait until Brianna gets off bus then the 3 of us walk to Linear Park.
“Go to the pipe/tunnel area. I say code word to Boy Y. He stabs her in the back as I stab her in the stomach. Boy Y drags the body into the area. We both cover up the area with logs etc.”
In her opening speech, prosecutor Deanna Heer KC told the jury: “It is clearly, the prosecution say, a plan to kill Brianna Ghey.” During the same search on March 17th, officers found a note found in a drawer headlined ‘plan’.
Details in the note continued: “Give them alcohol with sleeping pills.
“Slit throat. I kill her. Dismember body. Place pieces in bin bags, bury bags 7ft underground, bones including.
“Get her to go to Linear park, go to the hidden spot near the bridge I usually go to. Someone jumps out and restrains her (plan B). I kill her.”
During the search, police also found a computer tablet and a black notebook.
Jurors heard that written in the notebook was the word ‘anarchy’ on one page, and on another there was a list of ‘what is right and wrong’. Another page had a ‘spider diagram’ with ‘good and ‘evil’ in the middle.
The ‘legs’ of the diagram lead to the words ‘forgiveness, justice, morality, good, suffering, evil, sin and free will’, the court heard.
On another page there were the words ‘Valentine’s gifts’ and on another the words ‘revision HW’. Prosecutor Cheryl Mottram said: “Homework, perhaps.”
Written on another page were the words ‘types of serial killers’, with a list under the heading.
Words underneath included ‘organised and disorganised’, ‘mass murder’, ‘psychotic’, ‘organised crime’ and ‘copy cat’. On another page were the words ‘films’, and ‘faves’.
Another page was headed with ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ and then a ‘list of characteristics’. There were also notes about ‘John Wayne Gacy’, the ‘killer clown’.
The notebook also had written inside it a note which read ‘potential threats’ and ‘people that need to go’.
Another page had Boy Y’s name on it followed by a ‘list of qualities or attributes’. Underneath was written the words ‘trustworthy, funny, sociopath, good sense of humour, very very smart, genius level and not sociable’.
Officers also recovered a black purse inside a ‘cubby hole’ with a handwritten note inside.
The note read: “Friday 11th November, attitudes to forgiveness.” Jurors were told the note contained two names, including Gee Walker.
“Forgives her son Anthony’s killer,” it read. And continued: “Julie Nicholson, who could not forgive the terrorists who killed her daughter Jenny.”
Three handwritten notes were also found on the floor of the room. One read ‘serial killer facts’, with a ‘list of facts relating to serial killers’ including ‘killing themselves in police custody can be a final act of control’, ‘hedonism’ and ‘power and control orientated’.
Other notes made were ‘cruelty to animals’, ‘bed wetting past age of five’, ‘USA has the most serial killers’, ‘lack of empathy for others’ and ‘can be superficially charming’.
One note read ‘Dr Harold Frederick Shipman, aka Dr Death’, followed by the words ‘classification, serial killer’.
And jurors were told there was also a note in relation to ‘Richard Ramirez, or the ‘Night Stalker’.
The trial, which began on November 27th at Manchester Crown Court, continues.
Hugh Grant and wife Anna donate £20,000 ‘Britain’s kindest plumber’
A lovely Christmas gift to help those in need
Hugh Grant and his wife Anna have donated £20,000 to Burnley plumber James Anderson.
Dubbed ‘Britain’s kindest plumber’, James Anderson set up Depher, which stands for Disabled and Elderly, Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response, back in 2017.
Originally a plumber who offered services to those in need for free of charge, Mr Anderson now runs the community interest company.
Depher provides plumbing work free of charge for those who are struggling in the cost of living crisis.
Since it began in 2017, Depher has helped more than half a million people across the country and relies on donations from the public.
Now, Hollywood actor Hugh Grant and his wife Anna, who both arrived in Manchester on Thursday December 7th to attend the Chanel Métiers d’Art fashion show, have made a donation of £20,000 to help those in need this winter.
The couple have also donated tens of thousands of pounds to the Depher cause in the past.
Anderson called the kind donation a ‘Christmas gift’ and said it brings the total they have donated to £75,000.
Sharing the news on the Depher Twitter page, Mr Anderson wrote: “After speaking privately to @HackedOffHugh and Anna Grant I have permission to share their wonderful #Christmas gift to @Depheruk.
“This wonderful and humbling donation of £20,000.00 will give hope to thousands of people, families and children, especially with the #CostOfLivingCrisis.
“They both have my lifetime of respect and love.”