Three separate turf wars are behind spate of shootings in Manchester – but Chief Constable insists ‘there is no crisis’

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Sir Peter Fahy, said GMP ‘had a grip’ on the situation which stemmed from three separate feuds between local organised crime groups

Three separate turf wars are behind a spike in shootings in Greater Manchester but the region’s top policeman insists ‘there is no crisis’.

Violent disputes in Salford, North Manchester, and Wythenshawe over drugs, territory, and ‘respect’ are at the root of 34 shootings in the region over the last 14 months.

But Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, said GMP ‘had a grip’ on the situation which stemmed from three separate feuds between local organised crime groups.

He spoke as detectives investigated two more shootings at the weekend; one in Wythenshawe – where a man was blasted in both legs – and another in Salford where a drive-by gunman fired at a front door.

The incidents happened a week after father of five, Paul Massey, was assassinated outside his home in Clifton, Salford, by a lone gunman.

Sir Peter said the force could rely on back-up from the National Crime Agency, and MI5, but warned intelligence gathering at ground level by local police officers and PCSOs was at risk because of continuing budget cuts.

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Paul Massey pictured with partner, Louise Lydiate these are the last pictures of Salford’s ‘Mr Big’ taken in North Wales just days before he was assassinated

Sir Peter said: “We are not in a crisis. It is concerning and people are right to be concerned.

“But it is different organised crime groups involved in drug dealing, and falling out over territory, or so called disrespect. They have access to shotguns and play out these disputes using guns.”

He added: “We’ve had a number of disputes between different organised crime groups in North Manchester, Salford, and Wythenshawe, and police are investigating them all. We have had a number of arrests, and if we can’t link people to the incidents we get them back in custody on other offences, other people have left the country.

“We’ve had a series of people firing at doors. Some people have access to shotguns and use them like other people break windows.”

He insisted: “We are still on top of organised crime, with Operations like Gulf and Challenger – looking at aspects of the security business, door staff, and illegal car parks.”

Speaking of the shootings he said: “We get blips – then we have nothing for six months. Figures show that shootings are still sharply reduced from what they were.”

Shootings in the region peaked in 2007 when there were 146 confirmed incidents over 12 months.

But by October 2013 the MEN reported how Manchester was shedding its reputation for gun crime with just 11 confirmed shooting incidents recorded by Greater Manchester Police in the previous six months – one of the lowest rates ever recorded by the force.

But this had increased to 34 between April 2013 and March 2014.

Latest figures show there were 37,912 violent crimes last year – up 34.7pc on 2013.

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Sir Peter said work needs to be done to break the chain of generations of criminals within families.

“We have to convince young people that crime is not a career they should aspire to – to be the next Mr Big or an armed robber.

“It is probably a ten-year programme to try to do that. You have to win hearts and minds. There is a lot of good people in Salford who don’t want this gun crime.

“But change will only happen when, like in Moss Side, families and key people say we are not prepared to put up with this anymore.

“There is a danger of glamourising criminals. They are not glamorous, they are not making a great contribution to civilization.”

He also spoke of the two opposite faces of Salford. “We have MediaCity and one of the richest football clubs in the world, and yet areas like Ordsall are hardly touched. MediaCity is like an island.”

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Sir Peter said work needs to be done to break the chain of generations of criminals within families.

“We have to convince young people that crime is not a career they should aspire to – to be the next Mr Big or an armed robber.

“It is probably a ten-year programme to try to do that. You have to win hearts and minds. There is a lot of good people in Salford who don’t want this gun crime.

“But change will only happen when, like in Moss Side, families and key people say we are not prepared to put up with this anymore.

“There is a danger of glamourising criminals. They are not glamorous, they are not making a great contribution to civilization.”

He also spoke of the two opposite faces of Salford. “We have MediaCity and one of the richest football clubs in the world, and yet areas like Ordsall are hardly touched. MediaCity is like an island.”

 

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