[Safer Stockport Partnership initiative targeting shops selling so-called “Legal Highs”]
Officers from Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service and Stockport Council’s Trading Standards are working in partnership with Public Health colleagues in order to raise awareness of the dangers of these drugs and to ensure that premises are compliant with legal requirements.
Cllr Martin Candler, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Sustainability, and Cllr Patrick McAuley, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “A number of people have died after having consumed or smoked a so called “legal high” and more recently a number of Stockport school children have been admitted to hospital after taking these products. This campaign is aimed at protecting our young people from the massive harm and damage that these products can cause. We are frustrated this is the limit of the Council’s ability to influence, and we would welcome a national debate in Parliament about the ‘highs’ epidemic. Stockport will continue to suffer from if the problems associated with ‘highs’ legal or otherwise continue.”
The initiative has widespread support amongst the local business community and the specific backing of the Stockport Town Centre Business & Retail Forum.
Officers have seized over 3000 products in one day following visits to retailers across Stockport and enforcement action will be taken should these products be confirmed to be unsafe. Visits will continue to be undertaken and this work will run alongside an education campaign warning local schoolchildren of the dangers of misusing these products.
Members of the public wishing to report business premises selling these products are advised to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
[Arsonists target number of cars – Stockport]
A number of cars were deliberately set on fire by vandals in Stockport.
At about 5.50am this morning, 20 February 2015, police in Stockport were contacted by firefighters who were dealing with numerous car fires in the Turncroft Lane and Edwin Street areas of Hazel Grove.
Officers attended and apprehended a 28-year-old man, who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of arson and possession of a Class B drug.
He remains in custody for questioning.
It would appear that lighter fluid has been squirted on the bumpers and wheels of the affected cars and then set alight using a lighter.
To date, officers have received reports that a VW Polo, a Vauxhall Corsa, a Renault Scenic, a Renault Clio, a Mazda, a Peugeot 206 and a transit van have all been targeted.
Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward, in particular anyone who saw two men acting suspiciously in the area.
Detective Sergeant Paul Betley said: “Quite what would possess someone to commit such mindless and wanton acts of vandalism I do not know, but I want to assure people living in this area that we are taking these incidents very seriously.
“We have a large team of officers working on these crimes this morning and both ourselves and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are working closely together both to reassure the community and apprehend those involved.
“It would appear the offenders poured lighter fluid onto the bumpers and tyres of the cars and set them alight. Due to the prompt response of firefighters, thankfully the fires have not spread to anyone’s properties.
“Officers responding to these incidents have arrested a man matching the description given close to the scenes and we will pursue all lines of enquiry to identify others involved. I would therefore ask anyone who either saw two men hanging suspiciously around the area, or anyone whose car has been set alight in this way who has not yet reported it to police, to come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on or 0161 856 9721 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
[Three men sentenced for storing an arsenal of weapons – Stockport]
Three men have been sentenced to 38 years in prison for storing an arsenal of weapons and ammunition in Stockport.
They were sentenced today, Friday 20 February 2015 at Manchester Crown Court Crown Square.
Darren Alcock (born 21/02/1969) of Aigburth, Liverpool was found guilty at an earlier hearing of conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison with a further four years on license.
Paul Estridge (born 26/09/1968) of Sandon Street, Liverpool was found guilty at an earlier hearing of conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Stuart Manners (born 11/01/1969) of Bronington Close, Sharston, Wythenshawe pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing of conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
At 8.40pm on 3 August 2012, Alcock and Estridge were travelling along Windermere Road in a hire car which Alcock had hired.
As the car reached the junction with Nangreave Road it was stopped by a marked police car because Alcock was seen driving whilst using a mobile phone. A short time later Alcock and Estridge were allowed to leave the area by officers.
At around the same time children who were playing on Windermere Road found a firearm and ammunition which had been discarded in a plastic bag at the foot of some bushes. The bag contained a Taurus Millennium self-loading pistol with a 9mm round loaded at the time of recovery and twenty one rounds of ammunition.
The firearm and ammunition were recovered and an investigation was launched.
Officers from Titan, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit carried out telephone billing enquires which linked both Alcock and Estridge to Manners at the time shortly before and immediately after the firearms and ammunition were found on Windermere Road.
The firearm and ammunition which had been recovered from the bushes was forensically tested and Manner’s DNA was found on the firearm.
On Wednesday 4 September 2013, officers from Titan arrested Alcock, Estridge and Manners.
A number of searches were also carried out, one at Bronington Close, Sharston which was the home of Manners, during that search a Taurus Millennium self-loading Pistol containing one 9mm round was found along with a mini torch which was converted into a firearm, one round of ammunition, a number of shooting targets, 79 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a mobile phone ‘stun gun’, knuckle duster, carbon knives and two empty firearm magazines. When Manners’ car was searched a second torch which had been converted into a firearm was also recovered.
A second search was carried out at a storage unit which had been hired by Manners in Stockport, several hundred rounds of both small and large calibre bullets were found, a gun cleaning kit and a large hunting knife.
Detective Sergeant Mike Cain from Titan, North West Regional Crime unit, said: “Today’s result sends out a strong message to anyone who gets involved with guns, that they can expect to face a lengthy prison sentence.
“The firearms and the ammunition were clearly intended for use in organised crime, and would no doubt have led to serious injury or death.
“We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who use, store or supply guns for criminal purpose. By removing these weapons and ammunition we have without doubt prevented further crimes from happening.”