Updated: Monday, 11th December 2017 @ 2:23pm

Six Salford shootings between rival gangs spark calls for gun amnesty from residents – with Hazel Blears' backing

Six Salford shootings between rival gangs spark calls for gun amnesty from residents – with Hazel Blears' backing

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

Anxious residents are calling for gun amnesty following a spate of six shootings in less than three weeks in Salford.

The suggestion was made on Friday during a meeting between residents, senior police officers and city councillors in Irlams o’ th’ Height.

The six shootings occurred last month in Irlams o’ th’ Height, on the Duchy estate, in Eccles and in Weaste.

Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears, who backed the proposal, said: “The idea of holding a gun amnesty, as suggested by one of the residents at the meeting, is worth consideration.

“In the right circumstances, amnesties can be useful in helping to get weapons off our streets, but it is for the police to decide whether one would be appropriate in the current situation.”

Ms Blears said she was worried about guns being in circulation on the streets and called for more publicity around the five-year prison sentence, which can be imposed on anyone convicted of possessing a firearm.

Present during Friday’s meetings at The Height Methodist Church were Chief Inspector Dave Henthorne and Salford East neighbourhood sergeant Mark Coulson.

They said police have stepped up patrols and delivered leaflets to inform residents about the action being taken by police following the six incidents last month and to appeal for help.

Chief Inspector Henthorne said: “We have been bowled over by the public’s support since these incidents and it is clear that people appreciate seeing additional officers on the streets.

“We are certain that organised crime groups in Salford are now really feeling the financial squeeze as a result of us taking action including removing illegal drugs from circulation and dealing with illegal matchday car parks and other businesses linked to criminal activity.”

The meetings follows Salford’s first ever gang injunction that was granted last week by Manchester County Court.

Officers, working with Salford City Council, secured interim injunctions for four people believed to be involved in gang-related violence.

The gang injunctions place restrictions on people such as curfews and bans for entering specific areas and associating with certain people.

Section 60 orders are also in place allowing police to search people they suspect have been involved in wrong-doing.

Ms Blears, who organised the meeting, said: “I’m really pleased the city council and police have worked together to secure these interim gang injunctions.

“They will make sure that these people cannot operate with impunity and that decent, honest people will be protected.

“What is important now is that the courts take these injunctions seriously, and that if there is any breach the person involved feels the full force of the law, which could include two years’ imprisonment.”

Police believe a feud between rival groups involving around 10 people is to be blamed for the six shootings last months.

Nobody was hurt in the incidents, the last of which happened on Acresfield Road on September 27 when shots were fired at a property.

Eight arrests have so far been made and one male has been charged with possession of a firearm.

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