Armed police arrest men and woman in ‘gun war’ dawn raids
ARMED police arrested three suspects after a feud between two crime gangs brought a gun war to the streets of Cheetham Hill.
After early morning raids on two homes in the area, two men and a woman were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. A quantity of drugs was also seized.
Police are linking six incidents in the district - five shootings and a street fight in which machetes were brandished.
The violence has included a daytime drive-by shooting, in which two men were blasted in the leg, shots being fired in a convenience store and car windscreens being blasted.
GMP has launched Operation Heamus to tackle the dispute after a series of incidents since September.
Children’s services staff are also involved. It is hoped staff will be able to intervene and guide teenagers involved in the violence - and those on the periphery.
Superintendent Rebecca Boyce, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “Following this morning’s direct action, we have three people in custody and I would like to thank those officers who have worked extremely hard as part of this ongoing operation and who are committed to keeping the people of Cheetham Hill safe.
“While we believe that these incidents have been targeted, we understand and appreciate how concerned local residents may be and as a result of this have set up this dedicated operation. We want to reassure those who feel affected that we are doing all that we can and stress that we are treating these incidents as an absolute priority. “This is a complex investigation, which brings its own challenges, and while we have made arrests, we are continuing to appeal for the public’s help. We believe that answers lie within the community and would urge anyone with information to get in touch. Whether you want to speak to us directly, or whether you’d prefer to talk to Crimestoppers anonymously, please do so if you think you can assist our enquiries
Supt Rebecca Boyce with even the smallest piece of information.
“We will continue to work closely with partners in order to disrupt this kind of activity and I hope that this morning’s action demonstrates that we are working hard in order to prevent any further incidents and protect those in our communities.
“This type of criminal behaviour is reckless and dangerous - it will not be tolerated on our streets.”
Yesterday, two men - both aged 27 - were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. A 27-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and perverting the course of justice.
They all remain in custody for questioning.
Supt Boyce previously told the M.E.N.: “We strongly believe that this is an ongoing dispute between two specific local crime groups. We are unclear as to what has caused this dispute and what is the catalyst for this recent firearms discharges.
“We would urge any member of the public who is aware of what is going on and has information to come forward.
“We are going through an evaluation process to see whether the groups involved meet the threshold for organised crime. We do believe there is a younger element to each of these two groups.
“There is a difference between people involved in these crime groups and these incidents.”
“We are concerned that there is a danger to the public because of the time of the day and the locations where they are taking place,” Supt Boyce added.
Police checking a computer for the IM RAT software
Police arrest a man during the armed raids yesterday