A police crackdown on gangs on the outskirts of Manchester city center yesterday arrested 17 people as families in the area spoke out about the “absolute nightmare” of life there
Image: MEN Media)
Families have spoken of the “nightmare” of living in the shadow of drug dealers openly selling heroin into their neighborhoods after an undercover operation was launched to crack down on gangs living the “Love Island lifestyle”.
The streets on the edge of Manchester city center have become a hub for the homeless and others looking for Class A drugs, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Yesterday Greater Manchester Police arrested 17 people in dawn raids in Miles Platting, Beswick and Droylsden, they reported Manchester evening news.
It comes after an eight-month police investigation into drug trafficking on the roads between Piccadilly Station and Etihad Stadium in Manchester City, with officers posing as drug users to buy crack.
One of the streets taken over by traders is believed to be Palmerston Street, stretching from Great Ancoats Street to the Beswick estates.
Families living in a nearby housing development say they face a daily “nightmare” that has left them afraid to let their children out.
Yvonne Kearney and Paul Cassidy live with their two young children in Ancoats Grove – just a few meters from where dealers and sex workers hang out.
Yvonne said: “They do business all the time. Prostitution is a big issue here, it goes on all day and all night.
“You see that the prostitutes are served all the time.
“The other night a girl came down the street and yelled that she needed a whistle.
“It’s an absolute nightmare and has been going on for years. We have two children and I don’t want them to see things like that.
“Our daughter is playing soccer on the field but we heard there are pins there. People are fed up.
“It’s a beautiful area, it’s just what creeps out of the city center.”
Drug paraphernalia were found near houses where young families live on Wednesday afternoon.
A father, who asked not to be named, said he was regularly questioned by his young son about what was going on out on the street.
He said, “I can’t answer them. It’s very worrying because I can’t let him out.
“I see they’re selling drugs. They’re arguing with the people who live here who aren’t happy with the noise.”
Ann Andrew, 55, has seen drug addicts discarding needles and defecating in the alley outside her home.
Ann said: “It’s getting worse here for prostitution and drug trafficking. You see them often.
“You just do it in front of everyone. When I first moved here 20 years ago everything was fine, but then it suddenly started.
“It’s getting really unkempt, we found condoms in the garden.
“We are fed up with it all, but we have reported a lot and nothing has been done.”
Greater Manchester Police say dealers have made huge profits to fund a flashy lifestyle.
A suspect has reportedly spent £1,500 a month hiring a top-of-the-range car.
Cash is also reportedly sprayed on designer clothes, jewelry and watches.
Detective Sergeant Dan Pickavance, of GMP’s North Manchester Division, said: “The people we have identified as behind this are themselves living the Love Island lifestyle and selling heroin to drug users.
“They use the money for ridiculously expensive clothes like tracksuits and rental cars.
“One person we identified was spending £1,500 a month on a car.
“I’ve been to many, many homes where you will see a number of Selfridges bags in the homes – all merchandise that were purchased with cash.”
Eight people – seven men and one woman – were arrested in house searches on Wednesday on suspicion of offering drugs to undercover officers; Possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs; money laundering; and concerns about the supply of Class A drugs.
More suspects were arrested yesterday and in total GMP is targeting 21 people.
Houses in Miles Platting, Droylsden and Beswick have been searched and a search is underway in Cambridgeshire for another suspect.
Police also seized weapons, including a zombie serrated knife kept under a sofa in a home where a one-year-old boy lives, as well as large amounts of cash, drugs and designer clothing.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/families-blighted-drugs-sex-work-26600202 Families plagued by drugs and sex work as gangs lived the "Love Island lifestyle".