Cancer charities set to reap rewards after Manchester police stamp out illegal match day car parking scam

By Sarah Brook

Cancer charities in Greater Manchester are set to make thousands after a police crackdown on criminal match day car parks.

Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention and Macmillan are using seven car parks in the Old Trafford and Salford Quays areas – which were previously being run illegally – to raise vital funds.

Project Gulf and Operation Bank were launched by police last year to put a stop to organised crime groups and chief superintendent Kevin Mulligan said he is delighted the money is now going to a good cause.

“Running an illegal car park helps criminals fund their lifestyle at the expense of our communities and the offenders probably thought they could get away with it,” the divisional commander of the Salford Division of Greater Manchester Police said.

“As part of Project Gulf, we aim to investigate every aspect of a criminal’s life and the closure of these car parks shows just how serious we are about this.

“As well as bringing these offenders to justice and disrupting them from their criminal activity, I’m delighted that we have been able to raise funds for two very worthy charities.”

After nine car parks were closed and 20 arrests made by April 2012, the police estimated criminals were generating up to £4,000 per game.

Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention – the UK’s only charity dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer – and cancer support charity Macmillan will now receive the profits.

With G4S helping to provide security for the scheme, deputy city mayor, councillor David Lancaster congratulated everyone involved in the clampdown.

“Raising money for charity and providing parking for events is a far better use of the land,” he said.

“This sends a clear message that Project Gulf will not stand by and allow Salford criminals to operate where they like and cheat the public to line their pockets.”

Cars parking in the area on match days will now be charged between £5 and £10 and chief superintendent Jim Liggett said it was a top priority to get organised crime off the streets.

“Although closing down illegal car parks may seem like low level crime, the money raised is often used to fund much more serious crime,” the divisional commander for the Trafford Division of Greater Manchester Police said.

“I’m sure football fans will feel much happier knowing that their money is going to a good cause rather than supporting criminality.”

With one in ten women suffering from cancer, trustee of Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Pam Glass said she is delighted the charity will benefit from the scheme.

“We’re hugely grateful to Greater Manchester Police for involving us in this fantastic initiative,” she said.

“This project will not only reduce crime, but also help raise awareness and funds for the prediction of breast cancer.

“Currently one in ten women will suffer from the disease – our aim at Genesis it to make one in ten, none in ten.”

Picture courtesy of Edwin.11, with thanks.

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