‘These es­tates are a line of evil... as one gunned down, takes his place’ PART 2: MANCH­ESTER

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By REX ROW­LANDS

BRI­TISH cities are as law­less as the most dan­ger­ous parts of Brazil, Mex­ico and the U.S., the United Na­tions drugs chief said last week.

Pro­fes­sor Hamid Gh­odse claims Birm­ing­ham, Liver­pool and Manch­ester are like the worst places on earth.

The pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Nar­cotics Con­trol Board, he reck­ons cops have lost con­trol to drugs gangs.

Ira­nian-born Prof Gh­odse said the three cities were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing “a vi­cious cy­cle of so­cial ex­clu­sion, drugs prob­lems and frac­tured com­mu­ni­ties”.

He added: “In many so­ci­eties around the world, whether de­vel­oped or de­vel­op­ing, there are com­mu­ni­ties which be­come no-go ar­eas.

“Drug traf­fick­ers, or­gan­ised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of gov­er­nance of those ar­eas.” But is the Pro­fes­sor right? In the sec­ond part of an EX­CLU­SIVE three-part probe into Gang­land Bri­tain, we look at MANCH­ESTER to find the truth...

and drug crime are noth­ing new in Manch­ester – the city has been in the grip of bru­tal criminals for 30 years, cost­ing 70 vic­tims their lives.

And de­spite re­peated at­tempts at a clean up, lo­cals say ev­ery jailed gang­ster is re­placed by an­other vi­cious hood­lum will­ing to do any­thing to main­tain power.

Their ac­tions have made dis­tricts like Moss Side world fa­mous for a decades-long gang war which has made mafia-style ex­e­cu­tions and con­tract killings a fact of life.

Just last week the lo­cal news­pa­per, the Manch­ester Evening News, was re­port­ing on the “bit­ter turf wars in­volv­ing at least SIX armed gangs” said to be be­hind a spate of shoot­ings across the city.

And while things ap­pear to be slowly im­prov­ing, the his­tory of gang­land Manch­ester reads like a blood­thirsty mob epic on a par with mafia movies Good­fel­las and The God­fa­ther.

En­emy

Most no­to­ri­ous of all are the Gooch Close Gang in the Moss Side area of the city and the Dod­ding­ton Gang in neigh­bour­ing Longsight.

The gangs were formed in the af­ter­math of the ri­ots in 1981 and ever since have been bat­tling each other for supremacy and con­trol of the lu­cra­tive co­caine and heroin trade in the city – worth mil­lions.

Skir­mishes be­tween the two led to the area be­ing dubbed the Bri­tish Bronx. Much of the ter­ri­tory has been no-go for years, with borders pa­trolled by mem­bers on moun­tain bikes to keep watch for en­emy en­croach­ment.

Both gangs have a strict hi­er­ar­chy, from lead­ers down to the lowli­est teenagers deal­ing small amounts of crack on their BMX bikes.

But their never-end­ing feud has left or­di­nary mem­bers of the public

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