The ‘ticking time bomb’ estate where kids scared of being killed in ‘crossfire’
An estate where violence is soaring in Manchester is now eerily quiet as residents are “fearful and scared to go out”.
The situation in Alkrington Moss estate in Middleton, north Manchester has gotten so bad that even a newly built playground is deserted – despite it being the middle of summer.
One local has described the area as a “ticking time bomb” and claims it is only a matter of time before somebody gets killed.
Buildings in Alkrington Moss are often damaged in “crossfire” and its streets are plagued by drug dealing gangs and anti-social behaviour.
Last month, a gang of armed balaclava-wearing thugs descended on the estate before smashing up a block of flats.
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Cllr Dylan Williams viewed CCTV of the incident and reported seeing three vehicles pull up before 16 men arrived on the scene with “axes, spades, machetes, and other weapons”.
The raid was the latest of a string of violent incidents. In May, two men were arrested after another person was left with serious injuries. This followed another incident where three people were stabbed.
One mum says her young son, who now barely leaves the house, has been affected after seeing blood splattered on the ground.
The woman told the MEN: “He has been quiet since then.”
“He won’t play out or walk home from school. It’s horrible. I don’t feel safe here. The door is always locked.”
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Cllr Williams said: “People are fearful and scared at the minute. There is obviously serious stuff going on because there are all these incidents.
“The police say they are isolated, and they are, but they are so frequent that other residents are getting their homes damaged in the crossfire.”
He added: “If serious action isn’t taken then it’s a ticking time bomb. It won’t be long before an innocent person is killed.”
Cllr Williams thinks Alkrington Moss is fast becoming a “forgotten estate” because of its lack of investment. He says the area needs funding and wants to see some community facilities and for the estate to get a “revamp”.
One man who has lived on the estate for 20 years, dubbed the estate a “mini Moss Side”, reported the Manchester Evening News.
He added: “I’m scared to go to the shop. I wouldn’t dare go up there at night now. A mate of mine was going to the shop at night and some youths stabbed him in the kneecap.”
Local authorities and housing providers are under pressure to address this growing crisis.
One resident of a block of flats that was smashed up last month called on Rochdale Boroughwide Housing – which owns many properties on the estate – to introduce “vetting” of residents before they move in. She is concerned the value of her property is going to plummet because of the situation.
She said: “All of our block is privately-owned.”
“With stuff like this happening, the house value is going to crash. We can’t go anywhere, we’re stuck. There are a lot of good people on this estate. People are trying to make it nice but we have just got these few that need to be found and managed.”
A spokesperson for Rochdale Boroughwide Housing said: “We believe Alkrington is a good place to live. We’re working closely with our partners at Rochdale Borough Council and Greater Manchester Police, as well as with other housing providers, to respond to any concerns expressed by residents.
“We know that the recent incidents, although isolated, have understandably caused alarm for local people. Residents should call the police to report any crime, and they can also report anti-social behaviour directly to the RBH team. We will work with the Police and the Council to act on any reports of anti-social behaviour that affect RBH homes, and we provide support to residents who need it.”
A spokesperson for Rochdale Council said: “The council is aware of concerns raised. We have already taken action using the council’s antisocial behaviour’s powers and are discussing ongoing concerns with the housing provider and GMP.”
Inspector Jenny Partington, of GMP’s Rochdale district, said: “We are fully investigating all of the issues raised, but it is not believed that the incidents described are connected at this time. We are hugely assisted by accurate and timely reporting of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour, as it allows us to listen to our communities, understand their needs, and adopt a problem-solving approach to tackling those who cause harm.
“Since the latest incident, a multi-agency meeting including Cllr Williams and partner agencies has been held to discuss the action and activity to be taken by all moving forward. GMP will continue to work alongside key partners and the community, supporting with additional resources in the area to ensure a high visibility presence to provide reassurance to the residents.”
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