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Out of control

Lynda Moyo takes a look back at the Gunchester years and what lies ahead.

Written by . Published on August 15th 2007.


Out of control

As the media broke the news of Anthony Wilson’s passing, the one man army who single handedly put Manchester on the map, there was another story dominating headlines with an unfortunately darker spin on our beloved city. It’s enough to make you wonder, what would Mr. Manchester make of Gunchester this time around?

To some, the media have created a monster, but who can blame them when there is shooting after shooting, wake after wake and even a shooting at a wake. Ucal Chin, 24, was murdered in Longsight in June and Tyrone Gilbert, 23, was shot dead at Ucal’s wake in July. This situation is a living nightmare for Manchester as a whole. Everyone is affected.

Back in the day it became like a game of, ‘let’s guess who is going to get shot next’. That’s how bad it was

In the case of Jessie James, it has taken over a year to get a witness to come forward. This is a community that on the whole neither trusts nor respects the police. In an eerie reminder of days gone by, the latest spate of gang shootings has left us wondering, have the police lost control and perhaps more importantly, did they ever really have it?

A GMP spokesperson said: ‘Xcalibre is GMP’s response to tackling gun-related crime in Greater Manchester and the team carry out intelligence-led operations that target known individuals who are at the root of this type of crime and who pose the greatest threat. Since the launch of Xcalibre the number of firearms incidents in Greater Manchester has been decreasing year on year.’

In February, Chief Superintendent David Keller of Greater Manchester Police acknowledged that gun crime was on the increase in the city. Between April 2006 and March 2007 there were five gun related murders, 56 incidents of serious wounding and 714 incidents where a firearm was used.

Drive through Moss Side, Hulme or Longsight and you will notice the distinct increase in police patrols this week. There has clearly been a direct response to community fears. Manchester's Chief Constable, Michael Todd said: “We are absolutely determined – we are never going to let it go back to the old ‘Gunchester’ days.” However, will it be enough?

Someone who knows only too well the result of vendetta gang shootings is former Moss Side resident Carl Reed* who lived through the original gang wars of the 80s and 90s in the estates. Having spent his teenage years dodging the gang life which corrupted so many youngsters in the area, he now fears history repeating itself.

He said: “If you’re living in the estates it’s 50/50 whether you’ll be involved or not. As long as there is money and drugs to be gained on the street, it’s going to be hard to stop the crimes because in deprived areas people aren’t working, the kids don’t have anything to do and want to get a reputation. When there’s a shooting the police up their patrols for a week or so and then it goes back to normal again.”

What’s more disturbing than any figures is the fact that the gangs are getting younger. Some are tit for tat shootings, others are fighting for credibility, revenge or money. Or in some cases, all of the above.

Carl went on to say: “Many of such gang members are born into crime families so to speak, making it viable for them to listen to and respect their elders, as most kids are told to do. Gangster rap is influencing these kids as well. They see the guns, see the bling and think that’s the way I want to be. It’s got a lot to answer for to be honest.”

The ‘you don’t know you’re born’ attitude doesn’t phase them either. Read any press report on Manchester gang wars and there will always be quotes from mothers at their wits end. Mothers Against Violence is a voluntary group comprising of mothers who have been affected in some way by gun violence. However, the youths involved in the shootings clearly do not have respect for anyone, never mind someone else’s mother.

As Carl pointed out: “They don’t care. Someone gets shot, the mothers start some kind of action group and it falls on deaf ears to be honest. Women have got more resolve than men but you’d think the dads would speak out really. If some old time Gooch guys for example worked within the community that could help, but no one has done anything. People don’t seem to want to look after the area.”

So where are the dads in all this? After all, these boys aren't born thugs. Thuggish behaviour becomes conditioned as a response to the environment which surrounds these children. For young males, if this environment lacks positive male role models, then this is surely where problematic behaviour can stem from. This is about the people not the areas. Social conditions were worse in these areas 50 years ago and yet there was no prevelance of gun crime back then.

What it will take for the shootings to cease is probably as much a mystery to the police as it is to the general public. Back in 1994, the situation reached such a level that it was the gang leaders themselves who decided to call a truce.

Carl said: “Back in the day it became like a game of, ‘let’s guess who is going to get shot next’. That’s how bad it was. A lot of the guys involved knew they were on borrowed time. Probably on a smaller scale this is Britain’s Bronx. The kids love Gunchester. For them it just ups their reputation. If you look at someone the wrong way these days or step on their toe, you’ll get shot. That’s how petty it has got. The media aren’t over exaggerating.”

What Manchester has got on its hands now is a lost generation of bored, undisciplined, unruly teenage boys for whom it’s easier to afford a gun than an ipod. And don’t think it is a race issue either. It may be the black males of Moss Side that are making the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment, but let’s not forget about the white male majority gangs running riot in neighbouring Salford.

Far from the result of social or racial inequality, police ignorance or lack of education the root of gang culture lies within the families and communities, as does the solution. We have had regeneration after regeneration as well as community projects to get the kids off the streets but clearly throwing money at the problem isn’t making it go away. Desperate times call for desperate measures when it comes to the youth of today because it’s their kids who will be the youth of tomorrow, and so the vicious cycle continues.

Are the police fighting a losing battle? Have your say.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

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38 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Big K to the MAugust 15th 2007.

Thats right, what were they doing the punks? To be honest, it is not a way of the modern world, look at New York, Dubai, do you hear of there such gun traits and problems, no!! I think we need to take a step back, look at Manchester, look at the people living in it creating the problems and those that are infact disturbing the peace, those who are carrying guns, who are on street corners dealing the drugs. Do these people really deserved to be treted in a humane way, are these people not like the terrorists that blow everything up? I think you will find they are, these people cannot live in a humane way, they are animals, they need putting down like animals, they need to be shown as an example, that we will not tolerate this.Whos to say that it is Thatchers fault, it is Blairs fault, it is not any individuals fault, IT IS OUR FAULT, us as the United Kingdom, we have let them get too far and they need to be stopped.

AnonymousAugust 15th 2007.

And who Big K is going to be the self appointed executioner of all those you identify as 'scum'? Yes there are bad bastards around but your posse mentality is what any gun toting gangster would use as their justification to kill. I think there are major problems of gun related crime in Manchester but there are similar problems in other cities too though Manchester has a deservedly bad reputation and more active policing to protect witnesses would be welcome, but I think Karens approach sounds like creeping facism - I am all for encouraging strong community values but stop scapegoating teenage mothers single parents and young black people - its this kind of labelling that has caused so much resentment among deprived people many of who are struggling to survive in a city of increasingly extreme contrasts between the haves and the havenots partly because commodity ownership is valued over people and human values -it started with a venegance in the Thatcher years and Thatchers children have now grown up - we are paying the price of that kind of mentality now, with no morality, insufficient community spirit, only raging consumerism and human life counted for too little.

RingoAugust 15th 2007.

I am sure that these problems could be solved with a massive game of papers, sissors, stone and then there would be less killing. On a serious note, hit the gun dealers hard. Less guns, less shootings.

blaggerAugust 15th 2007.

Prof, if you are a professor, you are talking through your bottom. 55 kids a year? Utter nonsense.

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

The hard truth is to people outside of Longsight, Hulme and the other areas where there is gun crime, don't really care that much as long as it doesn't encroach on there area. The fact that the people dying are all black, from certain groups within society and all young men (which people tend to think bad of) makes it harder for people to feel compassionate about, rightly or wrongly.Until there is a desire from the whole of Manchester for this to stop there is little impotus on the side of the police, becasue it's confined.

Big K to the MAugust 15th 2007.

Listen yeah, you all need to realise that once the scum has been dismantled from the city it will be fine. All you need to do is shoot them in the head, 1 shot and there gone. Do this to all the drug dealers, rude boys, scallies and scroats in Manchester and it will be a much better place. Do it. You know you all agree.

CHGAugust 15th 2007.

Its an age old thing this ,we didnt bring drugs or guns into his country, but we get blamed when they are used.it is not a black thing its a attitude thing, most of the country is mixed race now anyway, they say its mostly black cause its easier to see, if you put the same about of black and white men in a crowd most people will say there is more black men than white cause the colour is preceived more by the brain , (put it to he test if you like)this kinda thing is happening all over the world there is a ghetto in each area. also it has nothing atall to do with single parent i have been a single mother in the so called ghetto and my 2 sons one is a trainee barrister the other is a mechanic they both had there teenage years of messing about but if they are steered the right way by one parent they will succeed in what ever.

demandAugust 15th 2007.

Does anybody think the "professor" is a scouser???Swansea is actually the wetest city in the UK, Hackney in London was voted worst place to live in the UK and the UK's 2nd city (yes Manchester) is the fastest growing economic region in western Europe, has the 2nd largest financial centre in the UK and is the UK 3rd most popular city for tourists (after London and Edinburgh). Is that enough evidence that are city isn't decaying? FAR FROM IT.

OAugust 15th 2007.

k to the...my guy. i'll see you later for Pro Evo

AnonymousAugust 15th 2007.

In all the hype....why was Jessie James on his bike in a deserted park at 2 am in the morning ?As for the gentleman shot during the wake of a friend ! What about his 4 children @ 22 yrs old, his previous for following one of his victims into hospital and attacking him again !Or am i missing something ?

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

O, obvisouly I agree!! What we need to remember though is that it's not the "black community", it's a certain few, and it's wrong of us to judge a whole group of people for the actions of a few.There are certain groups of white people that need "grassing" on yet we don't blame the white community.

OAugust 15th 2007.

this is possibly the worst article i have ever read. this bit is particulary bad What Manchester has got on its hands now is a lost generation of bored, undisciplined, unruly teenage boys for whom it?s easier to afford a gun than an ipod.ha ha, unruly teenage boys, she makes them sound like they are stealing sweets. they are scum with no respect for human life. she is really pussy footing around with the race issue too. its very naive journalism. she's been sucked in. Mothers Against Violence is a joke. half of them mothers know the criminal justice system inside out and then come out of court and plead for gun crime to be stop. here's a proposition to the mothers against violence... you know that gun your son keeps in the cupboard for doing stick ups, the one you know about and willingly allow in the house... hand it in to the police. i've said too much.

OAugust 15th 2007.

No one gets shot by accident. no innocent victims. as for the guy who said these kids are like this because of the thatcher era.. the haves and the have nots... i disagree strongly. admittedly, there is a growing wealth divide in Manchester today but were there no poor people before Thatcher. when i was a kid i saw things that i didn't have, just like my parents and their parents before them. we didn't rob or steal or kill. i didn't have a 'get money by any means attitude' and go and rob people to get it and i went to school with some of manchester's gun crime victims in the late '90's. being poor is not an excuse. all this talk about lack of black fathers and role models... what are the black mothers doing? letting their kids go out at 2 am on bikes? control your kids. its not an axcuse to say your impoverished and excluded. the sooner black communities take responsibility for their behaviour and stop looking for excuses the better. and before anyone starts, of course there are areas where whites commit the majority of crime, but were not talking about them are we. we're talking about black kids in manchester shooting each other. also, the article written oh this website is possibly the worst article ever written. it's like that childrens version of the news on BBC1

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

Karen,you may have grown up in a white ghetto, but I didn't and there are thousands of people in Manchester that dn't have the same view as you (granted most are from outside the city). But you and everyone else seems to think these problems are confined to Manchester or these shores. Europe, US, Australia, Japan, everywhere has high levels of crime. It's just that unless you get the ocal papers from Birmingham,Sydney, Tokyo, LA or Moscow you're not really going to know that.I would agree though that celebrity culture is to blame for lack of youths wanting to work for a living. But the only way for things to get better is for parents to take their part, and that is regardless of whether there is one or two parents. But asking for the state to intervene is stupid, we live in a democracy and that means that adult are expected to live there own lives within the rules of law. If you want a more totalitarian authority go death for something flippant. and live in Saudi or Iran and see how long you last. It's easy to knock something that you have always had, but why else would millions of immigrants want to live here if it was so bad?

GedeyeAugust 15th 2007.

I agree its crazy...a shooting at the wake of another gun victim - this is the harsh reality that we as residents of Manchester are faced with, things seem to have spiralled out of control...there is no thought or compassion - these gun men see no value on life - and do not seem to think twice about takin one. "its gonna take more than the Mothers Against Guns" (Swiss lyrics)...and its correct, this acts as a good outlet for the mothers of gun victims ...but as mentioned in the article 'falls on deaf ears' - the very mentality of a gun man spares no thought for the feelings of the mother of their latest victim. Living in Moss Side - I have def noticed an increase in police patrols...but for how long?! A couple of weeks..then what?! In my opinion something needs to be done about the availability of guns - stricter gun laws, etc. I mean WTF...Whats the deal with all these shops (Shudehill, opposite the old colusium, etc) selling guns...displaying them in the windows, etc. Every time I pass one of these shops I see groups of kids crowding the windows to look at the guns on display amongst other things (slingshots, other weapons of ghetto destruction, etc.) - surely this is not right?!!?!

Karen the realistAugust 15th 2007.

K to the M why exactly are you on here then? the whole purpose is to RANT! rant rant about what pisses us off! What pisses me off is the hundreds of thousands(and the rest!)of immigrants living here at our expense without us being consulted for one, and then instead of blending in, create their own ghettos which by definition, means a lack of desire to integrate (as if they should have an option anyway) they then repay us by causing unrest on our streets with drugs and gun crime, other crime, creating social disorder, taking benefits at every opportunity (whilst working also) etc etc and the Government gives them a tap on the wrist!! If there was a referendum to deport all people who havent worked since they got here, who have committed ANY sort of crime and preferred to just bleed us dry of benefits, dont speak english and actually are costing us more than they earn us then get rid!! we have enough leeches amongst our own, apart from foreigners screwing us too and boasting about it. Scrap the dole system and incapacity unless for the severley disabled, then we may have a chance. Charity begins at home, so lets get our own house in order. We are a small island, we've got to stop playing God trying to help people in Darfur, the Congo, Nigeria etc and god knows where!! its not our problem. sorry but its not. Wish we'd stop getting involved and then feel obliged to help the whole world solve their problems!! It sounds alarmist but soon Manchester will be black dominated and that scares me quite frankly. thousands have been serruptisciously moved into Moston for example and people are going to fight back as they dont want them there, the locals will tell you that. crime has gone up there, drugs are all over and now the odd gun is appearing now and then. Scary. I dont want them and didnt ask them to be here! Mass deportation to another welcoming island needs to start happening now for all our sakes, otherwise we could be looking at civil war in the next decade if not sooner!!

Big K to the MAugust 15th 2007.

I like it O. I say we start rounding them up tonight, we'll start off in Mossside, 2mo in Longsight, and add different places as and when needed. We will be known as the saviours of Manchester, cruising round in the corsa aka TANK, undestructable warrior, whatever you want to call it. Round up the skanks of Manc chuck them in the eastland and let them kill each other. If not i'll do it, i dont care Anonymous, i'll do it. There u go, iv told you who will do it, me!! I'll enjoy it. Bang bang your dead, your the scally with no head. Brap, brap, brap!!

Professor Rob RightAugust 15th 2007.

Manchester is the worst city in Western Europe for Gun crime - more than 55 children are killed each year in gun related incidents giving the city the name of "Gunchester".Manchester was voted the UK's THIRD city in a 2002 MORI poll. It was also voted in 2007 the worst place to live in the whole of the UK.Manchester has the highest rainfall of any city in the UK and is still regarded by many to be a grim decaying mill town.Manchester, the UK's third city is a disgrace!

Will BurrowsAugust 15th 2007.

Counciller Amesbury, when you say it is the responsibility of the people in these communities to police their own kind I assume you do so with the knowledge of the seemingly weekly murders of those who attempt to tackle teenage gangs fresh in your mind? If the answer to this is yes then you are irresponsible and dangerously idealistic in making such a statement. If no then step down now and direct the public money that you waste towards more worthy causes. Change needs to come from discipline within the family unit and at school. The Human Rights Act has been misinterpretted in the media and by the police, giving rise to teachers and parents being afriad to discipline their children. If children were more afraid of the consequences of their actions then they would in turn respect those in authority. Teachers and to an extent the Police need more power (or to effectively utilse existing powers without the Cherie Blair mob breathing down their necks) to deal with this element and these powers need to be shown to be instituted in the media and on the streets. Attempting to deal with armed and feckless people through citizen policing is a ridiculous idea which will only lead to more people being killed for interveining.

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

are Big K and O the same person?

OAugust 15th 2007.

demand is totally right. people outside them areas don't care. why should we? why should we care about a load of stereotypes who CHOOSE to be in gangs. they ARE NOT VICTIMS. victims are people who go to work and come home to find their houses burgled. Innocent people do not get shot. yes it is sad that we have a demographic within our society that feels it a neccessity to carry a gun... but it is not neccessary. i don't buy the poverty / no options /lack of role model theory. it is a way of life that has been created by the black comunity and only that same community can solve it.

Brett SinclairAugust 15th 2007.

"running riot in neighbouring Salford." Give me a break. This sort of sensationalist claptrap belongs in the News of The World. Maybe a few streets in a few areas..just like any other town/city.

AnonymousAugust 15th 2007.

Demand, yeah i suppose the 4 kids is judgemental, but the way the news portrayed him was this responsible father, a quiet lad at the wake of a close friend, lets have the full facts on the news instead of "headling grabbing" then peoples perception of what Manchester is might be different ! I've been to many karge cities around the world and its the same there "off the beaten track" HK, NY, Bangkok, Moscow, Vegas, the only one where it appears to be under control is Singapore, where penalties are very harse and life style is different .

MancsterAugust 15th 2007.

Tired of Journalists- you are talking out of your derriere. You are just sucking up the police lies trying to stop the media from revealing the truth. I have lived in Longsight, Trafford Bar, Rusholme and Mosside for ten years of my life. You are talking like this spate of shootings is nothing and that it is only apparent due to it being highlighted by the media "hype". This is not true. There was a surge in the shootings 5or so years back (can't remember exactly) when I lived in Longsight, I could hear the gunshots at night. It HAD quietened down scince then but there is no denying that there has been an increase in the last year. Are you saying Drive by shootings on bars with kids playing outside was a common occurrence. I do however agree wholeheartedly that Manchester was previously a much more dangerous place. I am - and I suspect you are refferring to the Manchester Blitz December 1940. Over 700 people were killed in just two nights of bombings.

K to the MAugust 15th 2007.

The Nigerian should work for £5.25 an hour because he has come to this country to work, that money is a good wage for him, hes not going to be a doctor is he? Why are you all on here trying to show your desirable political knowledge and trying to right the wrongs of the world, who do you think you are? get over yourselves, your nobodies who try and sound good on Manchester confidential, your losers. Get in the real world. And yes all black communities do casue a problem Deman, so shut up!!

OAugust 15th 2007.

K to the M me and you could be like Crocket and Tubbs from Miami Vice. we'd swap Miami for Moss Side and the speed boat for your Corsa (we could still keep a croc in the back if we could fit it in maybe we could drop the back seats) but we'd be a bit more like Judge Dredd's. dealers, rude boys, scallies, and scroats i like your style my man. we'd get them all. zero tolerance. we could be like urban bounty hunters. chuck a big net over them and send them to Iraq. you wanna carry a gun, carry one over there gangsta. any one who survives their tour of duty gets thrown intothe stadium one night when city aren't playing. big skip full of broken glass in the middle with guns at the bottom. everyman for himself. last man standing gets life. brap brap brap

Karen the realistAugust 15th 2007.

I agree totally with Peacemaker. Brett Sinclair you dont live in the real world sadly, shame. Probably going to stir up a hornets nest here but im entitled to an opinion....obviously you cannot generalise, although it would be easier to, but the issues remain the same, that quite a lot of the problems here in Manchester stem from the fact that mixed race kids and blacks kids make up the majority of gun related crime and violence in Manchester. They dont want to work and be ENSLAVED but would prefer the easier way out selling drugs, weapons whatever they can to avoid work. When caught, instead of rewarding them and rehabilitating them which we do at great cost to the taxpayer, we should PUNISH them, yes PUNISH them and ignore the evil, liberal lefty do-gooders who, incidently, are destroying the very fabric of what it means to be proud and British (if thats fascism then you seriously need a dictionary) that means to me having manners,respecting others and our laws and be polite to all around us. Kids with absent fathers (of all races) have no authority figures telling them "No" and this is the problem as they grow up and have to accept authority. Why are women having kids to bums too thats the question? because the state makes it very profitable. Take away their benefits if they can't name the father then make them pay, we cant keep subsiding this underclass which is flourishing thanks to new Labour. Why should WE pay for them? Oh and we have much state intervention now, so isnt that just another form of veiled fascism we are living under? What it may come down to soon if laws still arent enforced properly is a total collapse in the system and military intervention on our own streets (i'd feel much safer!)until things are sorted out properly. There are certain people who think they are above and beyond the law and those numbers are growing as crime and murder appears to be quite profitable its worthing robbing a bank of £2 million if youre out after 2 years isnt it? Wheres the deterrent??Oh and just to add: The Human Rights Act needs to be scrapped completely and Tony and Cherie Blair tried for war crimes, not put in the Middle East to try and ease his so-called Christian conscience! Talk about jobs for the boys eh? He's the reason we are swamped with immigrants from all 4 corners of the world and who has effectively re-introduced slavery to Britain. If a lad from Moss Side wont work for £5.25 cleaning per hour why should you expect a Nigerian to??? This country's gone absolutely mad.

Tired of GunsAugust 15th 2007.

The salford problem has been with us for a hundred years and stems from the docks the same problem of crime and violence has been generations deep in families but is dying out as the regeneration of those areas takes place. The 'Gunchester' problem is largely black (look at that now notorious front cover on the MEN a few days ago, with a mugshot of every victim)and involeved with drugs. In particular it stems from an area with a hugely disproportionate number of young single mothers who do not expect the fathers to stay around. These youngsters grow up believeing that the only way to make money in their lives is from the drugs economy. They have no father figures who can teach them there is another way and that if they believe they are every bit as good as the white kids they have every chance of breaking away from their current life. What would I do? The present generation are lost. The law needs to deal with them. Society has to take up the responsibilty for the under twelves. Set in train a program for every youngster in those tight geographic areas of trouble with single mothers getting huge support from outside, with the rest of the community taking a part in showing these kids the alternate path. A big budget and a sensible campaign will change this problem within one generation.

OAugust 15th 2007.

whilst you say its only 'a certain few'. it is a massive over proportion of black people in the country isn't it. OF COURSE i'm not saying all black people carry guns, that's proposterous, but every black community in the western world DOES HAVE a problem with guns or violence. Is it because they live in poor areas, ghettoized by the white man and just crying out for help or do some poeple just love to be racial stereotypes? you decide.

Councillor Mike AmesburyAugust 15th 2007.

Policing is not solely a responsibility for those in uniforms. Mothers, Fathers, family members and the whole community must come together and deal with this minority of young people (and adults) who are bringing shame on our city. We all have a responsiblity to ensure that justice is done for those human beings that have been murdered. Do the right thing and call the police.

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

O, you're opinion is exactly that which the media has created. Not all black communities have problems,and what actually makes a black community? Your stereotype borders on racism. yes the gun problems are mainly black, that isn't a statement anybody would contend, but to say that it's the whole black "community" is wrong and small minded. If that is the case then all people that live in coucil housing are scroungers, all northerners were flat caps and race whippets and all french people wear a ring of onions around their necks. Stereotypes create racism, and it take peopel with intelligence to see beyong stereoptypes

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

Anonymous, I agree with everyting you say, apart from the 4 kids @ 22 yrs part. yeah he may not have known what a condom was, but that isn't a reason to judge him.....as it turned out though he used to be part of a gang!

AnonymousAugust 15th 2007.

demand, makes a good point.It's crazy for shops to be selling guns but I'm sure there are dozens of other more underground ways people can and are getting them. I'm not close enough to know exactly what the police are (or are not) doing to resolve this but in our politically correct world any feelings they have must need to be watertight before they can act on them. I wonder how much progress they could make if we let them act on the their gut and shore up all the people they believe are involved. I'm sure they know exactly who's causing the problem -they're probably just short on evidence.

tired of Manchester journalistsAugust 15th 2007.

The media does have a responsibility here, yes. And this is sloppy and dangerous, ManCon. The recent murders are tragic, worrying and hugely distressing, but these incidents are happening within a context. Anyone with a memory that extends beyond the origin of this website will remember that the centre of Manchester (and arguably the wider city) was previously a much more dangerous and unpleasant place. Because of our history, it's unlikely that Manchester and Salford will ever be the perfectly gentrified places the media seem to want to suggest they should be. But are things really 'out of control' in the experience of the vast majority of Mancunians? Of course we need to find ways to help lost young people back into society (and if ManCon wanted to be worthwhile it would act as a catalyst for forward thinking discussions instead of scare-mongering) - dramatic headlines really don't help any of us.

PeacemakerAugust 15th 2007.

I think the gun crime is appalling, not just in Manchester, but throughout the whole of the UK. Youths of today just need something to do after school instead of gallavanting on the streets. More pressure should be put on the governments. I think Men have a lot to do with the whole gun crime problem, in terms of the fact that Men should stick by their women, and not leave them to breed like flies to have 3/4 babymothers. If fathers would play a more important role in their childrens' lives then this problem would see a massive decrease. Instead, fatherless youths depend on their peers for moral support, which just isn't right.

OAugust 15th 2007.

if any of you were right you would be prime minister and not on a chat room. discussion is good but there is no point. it will only get worse while people make up excuses for the 'poor inner city kids' and call certain areas in manchester ghettos. No ghettos. this isn't columbia or South Africa. these kids have choices. the sooner we realise that some people enjoy living like a 'gangsta' the better. shooting each other is not neccessity its a lifestyle choice made by people who have access to income support, free housing, and job centres but enjoy eggagerating how bad their 'ghetto' is. let them all shoot each other. no innocent people get shot. wrong place at the wrong time?ask yourself when the last time you were riding through moss side at 2 am was. P.S Prof Rob is a moron. If people are gonna shoot each other they should do it for coming out with dross like that. 55 kids a year are shot? manchester a grim decaying town? is he daft? maybe he is on a nathan barley trip and its all a joke. fair play if he is. this is at least one manc he's pissed off.

DemandAugust 15th 2007.

CHG, can I say regardless of what others might say, congratulations on bringing 2 lads up with the desire to do well. You're absolutly right it has nothing to do with single parenting, that's just cop out when people are unwilling to look closer at the society we live in as a whole. We don't live in this Dickensian scene anymore, we're a moder thriving city with modern problems..it's the way of the modern World.

Karen the realistAugust 15th 2007.

I've lived here all my life (for most of it in a white ghetto) and i wouldnt vote it the second city at all. Its riddled with losers and scallies and the associated crime, mindless vandalism, drugs, teenage pregnancies, etc and every suburban area is slowly suffering the same consequences of these antiquated laws we still have along with the lack of law enforcement. Why is it black youths are being shot mostly? Because they are simply modern day tribes fighting over their drugs territories as if in Africa fighting over the last piece of bread. Its pathetic. They have more opportunities than ever than the average white person here! thanks to equal opportunities (just look at Manchester city council!)yet they still choose to risk their lives selling drugs? Celebrities encourage this by flaunting their effortlessly (un)earned wealth so what can we expect? Media is partly to blame along with the main reason of weak women picking poor choices of partners in the first place. What happened to the CSA fining absent fathers? Get marriage back on the agenda, make it shameful and non profitable to choose single parenthood as a life choice as kids DO suffer without a father around, and society therefore as a result. Its affecting us all, we cant even speak out if someones got music on their phone on the bus now for fear of being stabbed!! and its a selfish option. Latchkey bitter kids are the result who seek solace in gangs through fear. The city is vastly getting out of control. GET TOUGH WESTMINISTER, POLICE, COUNCILS, CITIZENS OF THE COUNTRY! Bring back the death penalty and make the punishment fit the crime. Castrate rapists, paedophiles, and take away murderers lives too. It IS that simple. We need to stop listening to the liberal lefty communists who are the real criminals in this city and others who follow them. Things have got worse since we adopted this "civilised" approach to politics. People in society need rules to follow, how can we manage 66 million people otherwise? we cant assume they will all behave!! We've tried it and its failed. Im a normal civil person yet if i knew that after intentionally killing someone i'd know i'd also lose my life then i'd probably reconsider. That seems fair to me.....

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