Emergency Ancoats meeting: Crisis assembly after gang rampage leaves residents ‘feeling safer’

An emergency public meeting called in response to the gang rampage that rocked the Ancoats area has left residents ‘feeling safer’, claims a councillor.

Last night’s meeting between councillors, up to 50 residents and the police aimed to tackle crime in the area after ten teenagers caused chaos on August 8.

The gang mugged a security guard and a couple, punching a man, threatened a van driver at gunpoint and smashed windows of a BMW and canal barge in an hour-long spree around New Islington.

But Councillor for Ancoats and Clayton ward Ollie Manco believes that the meeting calmed any fears of a repeat and said: “The core crime in Ancoats has decreased in the last few years.

“And police said they believe that [the August 8 incident] was rare, almost a one-off and I think they are close to an arrest.

“It’s the fear of crime that intimidates people as much as crime itself and it was good to get people together and make those connections with the police.”

The councillor attended the meeting at Vivid Lounge on Great Ancoats Street along with organiser Executive Member for Culture and Leisure Rosa Battle.

“It was really positive and a lot of positive things came out of it,” he said.

“Everyone came out feeling quite good and I think that residents in particular came out feeling a lot safer.”

Mr Manco also revealed that there had been calls for police officers to join community groups on Facebook and Twitter in a bid to make themselves more approachable to the public.

The councillor also insisted that an expanded presence on social media outside of the force’s own output could help deal with issues that residents don’t need to urgently speak to police about.

He cited graffiti around the Rochdale Canal that could ‘attract the wrong type of people’ as an example.

GMP had come in for criticism from some parties earlier this week for their use of social media after it a Press Association FOI request revealed that out of 828 misconduct cases reported across the UK, 88 regarded the force.

But, like Mr Manco, a fellow Manchester councillor praised the importance of GMP’s social media output as Chris Paul slammed the media for ‘blowing the figures out of proportion’. 

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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