Greater Manchester Police has recorded its busiest period for lockdown breaches since the pandemic began last weekend.
A spokesperson for the constabulary stated that 85 fines were handed out between last Friday and Sunday, with breaches ranging from wedding receptions to birthday parties.
This is confirmed to have brought the total number of fines issued in the region to 400.
Flouters of the rules included a birthday party in Bolton with 30 people in attendance – where eight fines were handed out – and officers also attended a wedding reception in Heaton Moor, Stockport where around 60 people were in attendance and one fine was issued.
One person in Bolton now also has four penalties, with an accompanying fine totalling £800.
It comes after officers were called to a large gathering at the same property on four separate occasions, and the latest being at 2am on Sunday.
Nick Bailey – Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police – said: “While the vast majority of people in Greater Manchester continue to abide by government legislation, there are some who continue to flout the law.
“I would appeal to this small minority to think of the safety of their nearest and dearest before making decisions that literally risk people’s lives. Should that not be reason enough, I would also remind people of the very stark financial penalties now in place for failing to follow lockdown guidance – with fines doubling for each further breach.
“I’d like to thank our officers for the dedication and patience during what was a very busy weekend,
“I’d also like to thank the majority of people in Greater Manchester for helping to keep themselves and others safe by continuing to follow government guidance.”
The busy weekend comes as the rate of infection across all parts of Greater Manchester continues to rise.
Manchester city region has now also been declared the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) hotspot.
The latest data shows that it has the highest infection rate of any area in England and figures released by Public Health England show that the seven-day rate in Manchester has reached 495.6 cases per 100,000 population for the week ending on 1st October.
Bolton however recorded almost 240 cases per 100,000 people on 2nd October, which is down from 261 cases per 100,000 seven days earlier.
This makes it the only one of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs to have seen a reduction in the past week.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Police arrest four men and shut down ‘incredibly dangerous’ cannabis farm in Salford
Police have shut down a suspected cannabis farm in Salford today, arresting four men.
Officers swooped on the property on Arthur Street in Swinton after finding evidence that the house was being used to grow cannabis plants.
The farm has been described as ‘incredibly dangerous’ to other occupants in the area.
Three rooms in the house were full of plants growing, with a huge amount of wiring surrounding them that posed a fire hazard.
The four men detained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Salford Neighbourhood Team were subsequently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production and supply of cannabis and remain in police custody for questioning.
Sergeant Peter MacFarlane said: “Locating a cannabis farm is a great result for the team who are gathering intelligence and working hard to crackdown on drug-related crime across Salford.
“Farms of this nature are also incredibly dangerous to other occupants in the area. The building itself is still being made safe due to the amount of wiring around the plants. Criminals running these types of enterprises have no regard for public safety and in these conditions, an electrical fault from bad wiring could easily start a fire and endanger lives.
“The arrests and seizures then go someway towards disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that comes with it, and will also make our communities safer.
“This operation was intelligence led and a huge part of our intelligence comes from members of the public sharing information with us. If you have suspicions about a crime taking place please report it so we can take positive action and bring those responsible to justice.”
You can make a report by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report via the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: GMP
‘Groundbreaking’ new app to help get homeless people into work launches in Manchester
Homeless families across Manchester are set to benefit from a “groundbreaking” new service that gives them access to employment support.
With the ultimate aim of helping homeless people move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes, Manchester City Council has announced a new pilot partnership with Beam – a social enterprise that fundraises on behalf of homeless people and connects them with a supportive online community.
Through Beam’s “innovative” app-based platform, homeless people can raise money for items that often end up being financial obstacles to them moving into a permanent home, whether than be funding equipment or training to help them secure stable and financially-viable employment, or towards a rental deposit, moving van, or other homeware essentials, and everything in between.
Donations come from people in the local community, and are shared out equally between participants, so that everyone reaches their fundraising target within an average of 17 days.
Having helped more than 1,300 homeless people “achieve their goals” since being founded in 2017, Beam isn’t just about funding, as it also has a team of caseworkers who provide one-to-one help with employment to those in need.
The caseworkers also lend a hand with searching for properties online, communicating with landlords, and booking house viewings, while Beam also works with a network of vetted landlords to help people find a home
The initiative also provides further support for at least six months after moving.
Over the next year, Manchester City Council says its pilot partnership with Beam will initially support 25 families who are living in temporary accommodation in the region, and move them into their own private rental homes.
Residents can be referred to the scheme by the Council’s housing teams, as well as other local services, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who then supports them on their journey into stable housing.
“No one chooses homelessness voluntarily,” admitted Councillor Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“And when it happens, it can be devastating, which is why we are looking at a range of solutions to help people secure affordable and decent homes in Manchester.
“Our new partnership with Beam is an innovative approach to improve people’s life chances, supporting them, where possible, into sustainable jobs allowing them to move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes.