It looks like a scene from a movie, but the story behind the image of Khayam Ali Khurshid being captured by armed officers in the streets of Amsterdam days after murdering Cole Kerssaw is a very real one.
Last Friday (May 21), three men were sentenced for the murder of Cole, a young boxer from Bury, after a comprehensive investigation by Greater Manchester Police which eventually spanned an ocean.
GMP’s Major Incident Team of fugitive finders crossed the English Channel to get their final man, after Mohammed Izaarh Khan handed himself in at Bury police station and gunman Kamran Mohammed was found close to home in Rochdale just days after the murder took place in August of last year.
The fatal shooting, which happened on Chesham Road, made headlines around the UK at the time, and in the days following, a large scale manhunt was already underway.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Butterworth, Senior Investigating Officer, explains: “The Critical Wanted Unit completed numerous extensive and meticulous enquiries, including phone work around the location of Khurshid, before we got word from the border agency that he was on the Channel tunnel en route to France.
“The unit were then able track him down as being in Amsterdam and we knew from financial transactions that he was planning to board a flight to Dubai, but he actually missed this flight as he didn’t have a COVID certificate.
“The work of the Dutch authorities continued before they tracked him to a nearby street and sent me a picture to check it was him; it was and then the next message I had was that they’d got him!”
Following the dramatic detention by armed officers in the Dutch capital, it was then the job of the Force Extradition Unit to go to the Netherlands to arrest Khurshid and bring him back to the UK, where he would ultimately face justice for his actions.
The arrest was one of nearly 100 arrests made by GMP’s Critical Wanted team in 2020 – 48 of them being Greater Manchester’s most high-profile fugitives.
A further 46 arrests were made of suspects believed to be assisting those on the run and being involved in other serious crime such as drug supply and assault.
DCI Butterworth added: “We couldn’t have brought every one of these men to justice had it not been the tireless work of the Critical Wanted Unit, and it’s a team that is vital in securing the arrests of the most serious of suspects we have in our region.
“Any investigation, particularly one as big as this one, is not just about one detective or one team – it is a big team effort from so many people across the force and the Force Critical Wanted Unit, for one, played a crucial role in this case.”
Detective Inspector Simon Akker, head of GMP’s Force Critical Wanted Unit, said: “Once again our team have gained a brilliant result for all the painstaking hours of work that they put into ensuring that Greater Manchester’s most dangerous individuals are behind bars instead of on the streets.
“While a lot of our work is domestically alongside the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and National Crime Agency, it is not uncommon for suspected criminals to flee the country in a bid to avoid facing the consequences of their crimes, but this case epitomises our dedication of going to whatever lengths possible to bring offenders to justice.
“Here we worked collaboratively with the Dutch authorities, and even now we are still liaising closely with them to catch today’s fugitives who, while they may be at large, should know that all of our international partners have the shared endeavour of ridding these people from our streets and we will do what we can in order to achieve this.”
Over 350 hours of video footage, including 75 CCTV cameras, were meticulously viewed through the course of the investigation, and over 250 people were spoken to as part of the operation – codenamed Landseer.
Kamran Mohammed (28/03/2001), Mohammed Izaarh Khan (19/04/1999), and Khayam Ali Khurshid (20/03/1992) – all from Bury – were each sentenced to life on Friday 21 May 2021 after being found guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to endanger life.
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Manchester’s homeless community
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Greater Manchester’s homeless population early next year.
Hosting just the second ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising concert in over three years – the pandemic having put a pause on the initiative – the money generated will go towards providing a safe place to sleep to thousands in around the Manchester area.
The Middleton-born musician confirmed the date on Tuesday.
While Fray is currently the only name confirmed to be playing this year’s gig, his popularity in the city alone is sure to drive thousands to iconic Manchester venue for this great cause.
Most importantly, not only will all ticket sales go towards the A Bed Every Night drive, but so too will the proceeds from the re-release of the band’s debut album, St Jude, dropping on the same day as the gig.
The Mayor’s Charity has held a number of hugely successful campaigns already this year, including their annual 24 Run Against Homelessness as well as Mayor Andy Burnham‘s second night DJing at the one and only Warehouse Project.
Speaking in an official press release, Burnham spoke about the spoke about “the power of music to get people together and raise vital funds” for causes like combatting homelessness.
He went on to say that despite all the money already raised this year, “there’s more still to do and we know the cost of living crisis has started to impact on people’s housing”, adding: “We’re a musical city, so what better way to help those who need it but with a night with the incredible Liam Fray.”
Responding to Burnham’s thanks on Twitter, Fray had a simple message:
Over 4,000 unique individuals have been supported by A Bed Every Night since 2019, with more than 600 people now supplied with accommodation across the region who would otherwise be at risk of sleeping rough.
The Mayor’s campaign works with 21 different organisations across Greater Manchester helping provide a safe place to sleep to the homeless and those in needs on a regular basis. Wonderful stuff.
How to help in Manchester if you see someone homeless in the freezing cold
Whilst much has been done over the past few years to improve options for people who find themselves homeless in Greater Manchester, it’s still a huge problem – felt especially hard when the temperature drops.
The Met Office has forecast lows of -3 that will last across the weekend into early next week, whilst health officials have told people to put their heating on, despite rising costs. But some don’t even have the option to do that.
In the UK last year, 1,286 people died while homeless according to the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) Dying Homeless Project.
As a general rule, there are no legal protections for people sleeping rough in England. Most councils offer extra beds when temperatures are forecast to drop below 0ºC for three consecutive nights.
Fortunately here in Manchester, there is more support at hand.
What support does Manchester offer homeless people in freezing weather?
Manchester is the first major metropolitan area in the country to promise help as soon as the temperature drops below 0ºC.
Shelters are opened up in and around the city centre as soon as one night of freezing temperatures is forecast, and stay open until temperatures rise back up above zero, giving everyone a warm place to rest.
Accommodation varies from hostel ‘sit up’ spaces to an emergency shelter run by local charity Coffee4Craig for the council, where people are provided with sleeping bags, mats, armchairs and even a TV. And when space runs out in the hostels, people are given a hotel room for the night.
There is also the Mayor’s flagship A Bed Every Night scheme, which looks to offer a bed, hot meal and support for anyone sleeping rough in Greater Manchester at any time of year – regardless of the weather.
What can I do to help someone?
If you’re concerned about someone, you can contact your local authority via one of the numbers below.
Alternatively, you can use this tool to view the services on offer in your area.