A new BBC documentary focusing on organised crime in Manchester and its criminal underworld was watched by millions last Tuesday night.
The BBC Two programme, entitled ‘The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime’, was filmed over two years with unprecedented access to Greater Manchester Police, offering frontline insight into one police force’s battle against organised crime.
Episode one delivered, if you’re after shock factor, that is.
In central Manchester, police are called after a man is taken from his home by an armed gang in front of his wife and children. Held hostage and tortured, he’s only released after a £34,000 ransom is paid. The victim, a wealthy man suspected to be linked to drug crime, is thought to be one of a list of people the gang plan to target.
The documentary series takes you behind the scenes of the investigation and gripped viewers across the country as police officers got up close and personal with evidence related to torture and even murder.
While the hunt is on to find these dangerous criminals, another horrific kidnap happens. The Major Incident Team (MIT) – the team in which the documentary has up close and person access to – suspect it could be the same gang, and after trawling through CCTV footage, they find harrowing footage of the kidnap in action.
As the investigation unfolds, specialist undercover and firearms units are assigned to find and arrest the gang, and we see the entire investigation from start to finish, leaving many viewers shocked and terrified that this type of criminal activity is happening right on their doorstop.
This week will be no different.
Episode two will air at 9pm this Tuesday, but the footage will take you back to 4.50pm on a July evening in 2018, when a van pulls up outside an address on a residential street in Ashton-under-Lyne. The occupants of the vehicle are delivering drugs to a local crack house.
As the driver gets out and goes to the door, a masked man bursts out and shoots repeatedly into the van – and then across the street at the escaping driver. The passenger of the vehicle, Luke Graham, is shot through the chest, and despite the efforts of local people and first responders, he later dies in hospital.
GMP’s Major Incident Team launch a murder investigation. The suspects are believed to be members of a violent organised crime group.
As the investigation unfolds, the police team meticulously piece together evidence from CCTV and phone records to uncover a large-scale conspiracy suspected to have involved up to ten members of the organised crime group.
It’s gripping from the very beginning, and covers an incident and spate of criminal activity that was covered multiple times in the national press back in 2018 and 2019.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.