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The MCR Midnight Audit: Was Inspector Hanson Right?

Jonathan Schofield and three councillors find MCR after midnight is just fine

Written by . Published on July 16th 2014.


The MCR Midnight Audit: Was Inspector Hanson Right?
 

SATURDAY was the Manchester City Centre Midnight Audit. This was in response to Inspector Ian 'Cinderella' Hanson's comments.

The Greater Manchester Police officer and Police Federation official had said he was terrified to go out in Manchester city centre on a weekend after midnight and that there are sometimes only six police officers around to cope with thousands of revellers. 

This is the worry with the rash words from Inspector Hanson. They reinforce fear in people from the suburbs and shires, his words might deter them from coming in at any time.

At Manchester Confidential we've never found the city centre a problem at any time. Nor as a tour guide in 18 years of guiding have I had a single criminal incident (touch wood) involving any of my visitors.

So with Cllrs Pat Karney, Joan Davies and Kevin Peel in tow, along with a MEN photo-journalist (always stealing our stories that lot), I walked the streets at midnight to see if Cinderella Hanson was talking sense.  

The three councillors at Deansgate Locks

 

The three councillors at Deansgate Locks: Davies, Karney, Peel

The route was Exchange Square, The Printworks, Northern Quarter, Piccadilly, The Village, Oxford Road and Deansgate Locks.

We'd invited Inspector Hanson but he'd not responded. Then again Confidential hears he might be keeping his powder dry for a rumoured One Show appearance regarding his 'dangerous city' comments.

You can understand why he'd go for TV and not walk around with people who live in the city and know it. On the One Show he'll achieve maximum exposure for not only rubbishing Manchester but also for making a political point about how the Police Federation think the Coalition Government has gone too far in cutting police funding. In truth that's been his game all along.

So without Cinders we wandered and observed for two hours.

 Police give friendly advice in Piccadilly

 

Police give friendly advice in Piccadilly

 

I jotted some figures down in a somewhat random fashion.

Police: 17 officers spotted with three vans and two cars - not sure how many officers were in the vehicles. Certainly more than scaredy-cat Hanson had mentioned. 
Public urination: 3 occasions
Fighting: 0
Beggars: 12
Hen parties: 9
Stag parties:  4
Overflowing bins: 9
Women walking through streets on their own: 22
Numbers of people out in the streets: thousands
Favourite overheard dialogue: First lad: "Shall we go to the Blue Pig?" Second lad: "You're a blue pig."

Normally if I'm out after midnight in the city I've had somewhere between three pints and a skinful. Sober on the streets, I felt like an anthropologist observing the curious ways of the natives but there was nothing sinister or edgy along the whole route.

We only came close to one incident. 

"Bit boring this," said Cllr Karney, tongue-in-cheek, as we reached our final destination, Deansgate Locks at 1.30am. "There's nothing going on."

"You look like the sort of men who'd like to see some naked girls," interrupted a man with flyers from Obsessions 'gentlemen's club' to Cllrs Karney and Peel. 

"Not really," they laughed.

Cllrs Karney and Peel with the red glow of naked women luring them from over Peel's head

Cllrs Karney and Peel with the red glow of naked women at Obsessions luring them from over Peel's head

Just at that minute over Rochdale Canal on the boardwalk of Deansgate Locks five lads with bulging biceps and pecs bigger than the chests of Page Three models - or the Obssessions' girls - were trying to muscle their way into The Comedy Store. The bouncers were starting to bounce. Two police officers walked up, calmed it down and it was all over. No fists but a few choice words were thrown. Well done, officers.

The police seemed to be doing exemplary work across the city centre on our tour.

Some almost bother

Some almost bother

There was no other threatening misbehaviour to report but there was vulgarity. Lewdness. 

At about 1am in the Village three girls had leaned forward over a taxi bonnet, bared their arses and got a lad to take a picture of them with their phones - he took one on his own phone for good measure. He wasn't the only one. 

As they retreated the girls found out the media were present begged us not to use any pictures we might have taken of their arsing about. Turned out they were teachers. How curious I thought. If you don't want it recorded in 2014 don't do it in the first place. Have they never heard of social media? 

We asked them whether they felt worried about coming out in the city centre. They said no. All the people we asked said no. 

The crazy Village

 

The crazy Village

The MEN tagging along made me smile.

It was the MEN who started all the fuss with their June 28 story quoting Hanson. The article was illustrated by a slideshow of twelve pictures of one party of drunken individuals - one party - as proof of misdeeds. The pictures were labelled 'Carnage in Manchester 2014'. The t-shirts on the party members clearly read November 2013. The paper had used old pictures and claimed they were recent. Bad form. Naughty.

Hanson's quotes were jumped upon by the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the tabloids, then gained their own momentum and spun off across the planet. Suddenly the work of the Greater Manchester tourism authorities was that little bit more difficult. 

Yet I was told by the Councillors on our midnight tour the MEN were 'sympathetic' to proving Manchester is not as bad after midnight as Hanson had made out.

Really? I just know there'll be another cheap-win gallery of drunken pics in a few weeks. Sensationalist papers will always seek sensationalism even though it harms the city they purport to represent. The MEN can't help themselves. They never can, it's in the blood. 

Outside the Britannia Hotel, it's an easy-going eveningOutside the Britannia Hotel, it's an easy-going evening

What is clear is that Hanson's 'danger after midnight' comments will not prevent young people coming into town to enjoy themselves. They will have their fun no matter what. That's not the problem area. 

"It's the older visitors we have to worry about," said Joan Davies during a warm-down pint in Dimitris on Deansgate at 1.35am. "I'm not sure many older people stay out much after midnight anyway - Hanson's in his forties I believe. Let's hope his comments don't put off people coming in full stop."

This is the worry with the rash words from Inspector Hanson. They reinforce fear in people from the suburbs and shires, his words might deter them from coming in at any time not just in the late evening. All Hanson has done is spread anxiety. Another booster for the Trafford Centre. 

Not that there isn't weekend trouble in the city centre fuelled by alcohol. Of course there is. The police reports show us this. Bar and restaurant owners tell us it happens. Horrible individual incidents reinforce this. We are aware our walk was merely a snapshot of particular parts of the city at a particular time. Trouble might have been flaring nearby and we wouldn't necessarily have been aware of it. 

The Printworks - not much going on here

 

The Printworks - not much going on here

But for me, a sober eyewitness, it was an easy night, interesting throughout, amusing on occasion - the Village and the Northern Quarter were the liveliest areas. It felt sort of happy - if quieter with the students on vacation. The number of women walking the streets alone was interesting. They weren't drunk and they clearly felt comfortable enough to do so. 

Familiarity breeds contempt but it can also breed content. Manchester is my city and now in middle-age I know what I like and I know which bars and pubs to visit, which areas to seek out. Use it and you become comfortable.

Joan Davies again.

"Midnight Manchester is hardly dangerous. It's nowhere near mayhem and far from madness. There's a less documented offer of sit-down quieter spaces which attract an older clientele." 

Easy does it in the Northern Quarter

 

Easy does it in the Northern Quarter

I know a senior Manchester writer who has had 'the fear' of the city centre for fifteen years. When I first started going out in the city in the eighties his worries would have made more sense. Weekend drinking seemed exclusively for the young. Pubs such as Mr Thomas's on Cross Street closed at 7.30pm after the post work trade had gone. 

In 2014 all age-groups have never had it better. They can pick and choose when to come in and where to go. And the more age-variety on the streets, the more people coming in, the safer they will feel. Hanson's words hinder that happening.  

Village life

 

Village life

Cllr Kevin Peel, looking back on our stroll, said: "Our walkabout proved what anyone who actually visits the city centre of a weekend evening knows - it's a great place for a good night out. Yes there are a few idiots and some issues with a minority of venues, takeaways and taxis which we need to do more to address, but the city centre is not a 'dangerous' place to be."

Of course Inspector Hanson isn't bothered about this truth - he wanted to make a point and Manchester, unfortunately, was the vehicle.

He knew exactly how provocative his words were and just you how predictable the press would be in picking it up. They didn't disappoint. 

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+ 

The Locks rocking

The Locks rocking

Sneaky fag in the smoking pen outside GorillaSneaky fag in the smoking pen outside Gorilla

Fill bloody binsFill bloody bins

Piccadilly drinks offers

Piccadilly drinks offers

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

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Íf he's complaining about the lack of officers on the street. What about all the officers doing desk jobs working Monday to Friday get them on active duty. GMP have a lot of officers sitting idle.

NickNameJuly 16th 2014.

So not only has this man's comments spread like wildfire through national and international written media, he's now going to seek out and promote all the bad things he can find in the city centre just to justify his comments on the BBC. This bloke is doing Manchester a major disservice. Regarding public urination do people get fined for this? I was fined years ago in Spain whilst on a stag do for watering the plants at 5am slightly worse for wear! The £50 fine I got did the trick and I've never done it again!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Yes we do fine for pissing in the street, dirty buggers

Kevin PeelJuly 16th 2014.

Thanks for this sensible and balanced article, Jonathan. I completely agree with everything you've written. Re the bins - we're going out this afternoon with the Head of Neighbourhood Services to talk about staff provision after 6pm and at weekends to get this right. Re public urination - we committed in our local manifesto at the last election to introducing a by-law and we will do so this year, which will allow fines to be issued.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
JonathanJuly 16th 2014.

Kevin can you please advise the MEN to STOP referring to Pat Karney as "City Centre Spokesman". He is not elected to do so and his time would surely be better spent in his own ward Harpurhey

Really?July 16th 2014.

Cllr Peel. How can you even justify this tweet? "Kevin Peel @kevpeel · Jul 12 Nothing dangerous about the Village after midnight! Sadly Insp Hanson didn't join us. #CllrKev" You alone created the EMRO debacle for the Gay Village saying last year "I fully support an EMRO targeted in the village" to close it down 3am and ONLY that area in the city centre despite a huge legal implication that this could not happen. The upset and turmoil that debate caused upset businesses, many in the LGBT community and so on. You alone behaved appallingly throughout that period and deleted much of your social media on that issue. Yet there were no apologies. Shame the story remains on the media. To be such a turn tail politician vying for any votes is clearly your agenda. Though I am sure you will win your NEC seat (having focussed 90% of your energy crawling for those votes and taking undue credit for so many things businesses, community, organisers and campaigners do) and I am sure you will keep your seat in 2015. However, do not underestimate how far your hypocrisy offends. I am glad to see you are no longer the LGBT Lead and have had YOUR colleagues thankfully express that opinion to me too. You really do make the perfect politician. Self-promoting, hypocritical, disingenuous and totally revisionist. You alone make me very much worry about the future of leadership in the Labour Party. Thank goodness for the freedom for me to be able to express this opinion many hold on Manchester Confidential. I am sure the #CllrKev propaganda hashtag is very much alive and well as is your domination of the City Centre Voice.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Agree with the above poster - walking around Harpurhey after midnight is akin to walking around Baghdad or Belfast in the '80s. Coming back to public urination - people have to urinate - bars won't let someone in to relieve themselves - more public toilets please, Councillor. I'm surprised the businesses of the NQ haven't volunteered to renovate the long closed Stephenson Square toilets.

Kevin PeelJuly 16th 2014.

"Really?" aka Adam you should put your name to your constant and boring criticism rather than creating multiple fake ones to slur and slander anyone who disagrees with your views.

Really?July 16th 2014.

I may well be a big critic Kevin. As for trying to have me thrown off campaigns and the complaint I made against you leading to proposed revisions in a Council policy really says a lot. You could of apologised and we could of got over it. Your behaviour and hypocrisy is disgusting. Full stop.

Really?July 16th 2014.

& BTW Kevin, I have no disagreement with your colleagues, I like many of them, respect many. I hardly am trying to conceal my identity am I? I see you criticise people regularly, but you cannot take the heat yourself and try and cut them off. True bullying behaviour and the misuse of power I would suggest. Keep on self-promoting!

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 16th 2014.

Well yes you are concealing your identity to me and other readers Mr Really. Kevin has always put his name to things. If you criticise personally on here you put your name to it or the next time I take the comment off simple as that.

AdamJuly 16th 2014.

Jonathan I am going to email you a wealth of material this evening saying why I do not wish to name myself. Why do I conceal my identity? Because of campaigns, friends and projects that I have respect for. You can see what you find 'boring' from this. It is shame as I have learnt speak out against a Councillor, there much drama ensues, however real the grievance. Expect an email shortly. Campaigns are in better places and if I had to leave one or two for speaking up, then so be it. It is not what I want but I find the situation warrants it.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

i hide my true identity to protect those i care about, i am batman...

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

You are NOT. I am Batman :D

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

I agree Jonathan. I know he lives in the city centre but it would be good to see Pat Karney focusing on his own ward...even when there isn't any media there. Only time I've seen him up here is just prior to elections. We have plenty of behaviours and issues up here that he could help with as well as highlighting some of the good stuff going on.

AdamJuly 16th 2014.

No I am an just idiot, as I get no advantage about doing what I'm doing and no career, financial or connection benefits, but am trying hard on many projects as I care a lot about them. Never underestimate how hard even if I am far from perfect. Working with people means I would not want to hurt them or their efforts because I am gobby and wear my heart on my sleeve. But I do not like Joker politicians trying to ostracise people and being able to behave badly. But Peel is bored of it! So why be such a provocative, self promoting and hypocritical turntail? My friend just said to me 'what do you expect from a politician'? I said better. A lot better. I also dislike other feel they cannot be critical but appreciate exactly why as it unleashes drama and damage 'speaking out'. I am sure some of the 100% of Labour can see it too, for whom I am hoping and know many are better than this. From the always "unrecognisable" Adam.

Peter CoppingJuly 19th 2014.

Just for the record EMRO =Early Morning Restriction Order. Effectively imposing one means that incensed premises opening hours are restricted to a given time. It would be boring to go into the history of all this but at a licensing hearing I for a cafe I attended the police representative referred to the differential closing times of all premises across the City.I knew because I follow licensing application that the hours of Village premises had been increasing in the previous two years and there has been some well publicized problems with the cafes who don't employ door staff. I have no opinion of whether an EMRO is appropriate.

Alex24July 16th 2014.

Whilst I don't agree with the former Inspector's comments - Manchester does take a turn for the worse from 2-4am and having lived in other cities it's certainly not always as safe as this report found.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Absolutely agreed. Going out at 12-1.30 is a bit early for any trouble. People are just getting warmed up. The Village at 3/4am is grim, as are the Locks.

JoanJuly 16th 2014.

We went out at midnight because Insp Hanson, who does not appear to work in the city centre, had said he wouldn't go out in Manchester after midnight. I agree the picture changes across the night, but the timing of the 'audit' Jonathan arranged was a response to the original claims. Insp Ian Hanson may be keen to talk to national media, but he isn't responding to people with local knowledge. He doesn't reply to Jonathan, nor has he responded to an invite from city centre councillors, Beth, Kev and myself to a 'clubbing or culture' night out.

Nicole CarlensJuly 16th 2014.

I am in agreement with this statement. The 'witching'hour is more between 2-4 am. Not a nice time to be out on your own then. Quite scary!

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 16th 2014.

NEXT we're going to do one of these audits at 2.30am. But we were responding to exactly the form of words of Cinderella Inspector - as Joan said.

Hero
James CunninghamJuly 16th 2014.

We will always have conflicted opinions but I have to challenge ANON1.. I run a bar in the village.. we close at 3am and all our punters leave happy and smiling..I know this because I stand on the door and say goodbye to them all.. additionally by the time we come to leave and have a well deserved sherry around 4/5 the village is still very much in happy-mode.. Sure there are incidents but what city or town doesn't have them? I'm proud to work in Our Gay Village and proud to create a happy space for those who want to have a safe boogie!!

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

@ James, I think that there are conflicted opinions. Sometimes the Village after closing time is fine and people are in a happy mood, but there are more frequent occasions where the area around Bloom St & Richmond St takeaways/taxis isn't so great. I've personally never had trouble, but I've found that recently I'm less inclined to be walking home.

SmittyJuly 18th 2014.

Have to agree with James. As someone who is regularly booted out from a Village bar at about 3am generally the atmosphere is fine, if a little blurred. I think there's perhaps confusion between a bit of Manc rowdiness and danger/carnage.

SquirrelitoJuly 16th 2014.

Nowhere's "always safe" Alex, but the city centre after midnight is not scary or dangerous the overwehlming majority of the time, its fun: tipsy, raucous, vulgar, yes, but its not dangerous. And its amusing to see the MEN out doing a bit of "investigative reporting", I thought they left that behind with their Deansgate office. Not even worth picking up on a Thursday any more. Its a crying shame what a rag it's become.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Thanks for bringing up the MEN's role in all this Jonathan. Under its new ownership, Manchester is dealing with a very, very different local(?) newspaper these days I'm afraid. Yes, I bet they'll be absolutely ecstatic that their "damning story" has gone national? (Helps you get noticed in London and a ticket out of Chadderton, right?) Under Trinity Mirror, there's just no affinity for our "rain & yob-ridden" city anymore - and the paper seems to take such glee in knocking the place these days, don't you think?

8 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJuly 16th 2014.

Absolutely agree. A particularly galling recent example was the story about the planned works to relocate the Metrolink platforms in St Peter's Square: the headline was "Tram passengers face 14 months of fresh Metrolink misery" - completely insubstantiated shite that does the city down for no reason except to sell papers and further untalented hacks' careers. Infuriating that shambles is all we have to represent the city.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

This Trinity Mirror "chain rag" seems very reluctant to ever criticise Sir Richard & Sir Howard though - and directly hold our local council to account for anything wrong here in Manchester? Wonder why that is then? (No wonder this city is a one party town now!)

JonathanJuly 16th 2014.

It's just click bait - every day "top 5 reasons why mufc/mcfc will ......." then the advert is split into 5 separate pages so they can sell higher rates based on clicks. That and their now "some W/SL/AGwears a new dress in Rosso" SHOCKER

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Simple way to solve this is if people refuse to pick it up when its free, and certainly never buy it on the days they have the cheek to sell the bloody rag.

Hero
James CunninghamJuly 16th 2014.

GIMBOID I so agree.. I read that story and was appalled at how it was painting the works.. OF COURSE there will be disruption.. you can't add another line without it.. but to them it was if the world was ending....

Ghostly TomJuly 16th 2014.

Quite right about the metrolink story. For 10 of the months there will be trams running through St Peter's Square but on a single track rather like is happening at Victoria at the moment and that seems to work. it's trust the St Peter's Square tram stop will be closed but people will cope like thy have with the closure of Victoria. For the four months it will be completely shut down I dare say there will be buses linking Deansgate/Castlefield to Piccadilly Gardens. I've stopped taking the MEN. It seems to have it's won agenda these days and part of that is bigging up any minor inconvenience to the status of an apocalypse. I've always felt perfectly safe in Manchester late at night. Meeting the mess on the streets early the next morning is a different matter....

Ghostly TomJuly 16th 2014.

Just not trust....sorry d**m predictive text...

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Always hated the Daily Mirror. So gutted the Scott Trust abandoned us & sold our local newspaper (and a historical part of Manchester civic pride) "down the river" to that lot.

Rick22July 16th 2014.

I originally come from deep darkest east Lancashire and i can honestly say Manchester hasn't half the problems that the towns of Lancashire have with weekend nightlife. I go out regularly and hardly ever see any trouble, certainly nothing to make the national news! You want to improve Manchester? empty the bins! get the banks to install more cash machines! sort out Piccadilly gardens!

8 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

I would of added fines for dropping litter and urinating in public, but this is being done. Other than that I'd like the Metro to run until 2/3am as other public transport systems do in other parts of Europe. The U-Bahn in Berlin doesn't stop. It's so easy to get about and it would stop drunk people cue jumping while waiting for taxis. I've seen so many fights down to that over the years. They'll be some excuse why it can't be done here i suppose, but people are out drinking and partying all hours of the night and we are a student city. It makes sense to me.

Gridgeigar.July 16th 2014.

Metrolink doesn't go anywhere near where most students live.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

There's only night buses on weekends to Salford and North Manchester

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

GRIDGEIGER, It will do in time, but lots of other people need to get home too. The fact bars and clubs are open 3/4 hours after the system closes is stupid imo.

Rick22July 16th 2014.

Completely agree with later metro trams, though wouldn't like to be the cleaners the next day! that's allot of half eaten kebabs to clean up! Hopefully the metro lines will continue to grow even past the latest plans and all areas of the city will get decent access. Having moved to this city 4 years ago I have to say its an amazing place to live and socialize and any article that claims that Manchester is terrifying at any time needs to grow a pair. If you are walking around any city alone at 4 in the morning there is an element of danger, my advise is dont

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Piccadilly gardens is looking better than it has in years. Apart from the fountain not working. the new play area has stopped some of the street drinkers from hanging around there.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

I agree its better than it has been but surely they can do better. It is one of the central points in the city and the city will be judged based on it. That concrete wall is far to soviet for my liking, the addition of the wheel at lease made the area more touristy but long term they need to make the area into an attraction.

Peter CoppingJuly 19th 2014.

The Bins are on Canal Street, now. That's why if was at the licensing hearing, But in fact the premises on Canal Street actually clear up their street but of course not before Man Cons photographer got there. on a Sunday morning.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Points well made, though as an aside I wouldn't necessarily use the number of women walking alone as an indicator of safety. I wander around by myself pretty often, and it's not so much that I feel safe, but that the inconvenience of always moving in packs/paying for taxis outweighs the potential risk of happening across a mugger/rapist. I don't always alter my behavior when there's a recent pattern of attacks against women in a particular area, but I'm more cautious and aware of my surroundings when I'm on my travels.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

As a woman, I will walk across town alone at that time, but I don't feel safe. I walk as quickly as I can, on main roads in well lit and busy areas.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

That's just being sensible. As a guy I stay to the brightly lit streets as well. And remember that as a guy I'm far more likely to be attacked than a woman is.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

Well yeah, but you aren't raised to fear rape in the same way women are, regardless of actual risk. (I'm not the anon above). Try telling my dad he should worry about his sons getting home more than his daughter. He doesn't, even though they've got into more trouble over the years. But the point is that women walking alone is no indicator of a place's safety or lack therof.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

It's extremely important that women should feel safe on the streets and everything should be done to make this so. But men are much more likely to be attacked than women but people don't seem to think that is as important as women's issues. As a father of sons and daughters I don't rest until all of them are safely home.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Jonathan Schofield why isn't Manchester's elected and paid for police and crime commissioner anything to do with this? have we all forgotten that Tony Lloyd exists? He is the elected official that should be asked for or offering a view on this. He is also the person responsible for the policing in Manchester and perhaps the hiring and firing of senior officers? Maybe he should have a little word with inspector Hanson about who pays his wages and how bad mouthing the city or its policing is not OK - after all if the rest of us go to the papers slagging off our employers we get a p45 for our troubles.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

GOOD POINT!

Simon TurnerJuly 16th 2014.

What is Tony Lloyd for? He's a waste of space, him and his 3 dozen staff.

Peter CoppingJuly 19th 2014.

Why haven't you asked him to. I would if I was so concerned.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Any large city centre is going to have its problems. Manchester is no more dangerous than any other city. Common sense should prevail stick to the main roads if you don't feel safe.

MaggieJuly 16th 2014.

With all this lovely hot summer weather we are having, lets hope we don't have another 'summer of discontent' - because there aren't enough police officers left in the country to police riots as well as do the million and one other things that officers are expected to do. Hanson may have been talking out of his backside about Midnight Manchester but he was trying to make the serious point that we do not have enough officers in ALL the police force area to keep the public safe. And again, rioting yobs use bottles etc that they find in over-flowing bins to throw during riots KP, just saying................

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

blame the weather! I ask you.

rinkydinkJuly 16th 2014.

If he does get onto the One Show with his insane viewpoint, I hope they have the decency to invite someone with an opposing point of view. Someone like you Jonathan. TV stardom could be coming your way. Just think....

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

Interesting article that provides some necessary balance to the debate. It is disappointing though the author resorts to a crude typification of the homeless citizens of Manchester as 'beggars'. A little too Victorian perhaps?

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

Interesting article that provides some necessary balance to the debate. It is disappointing though the author resorts to a crude typification of the homeless citizens of Manchester as 'beggars'. A little too Victorian perhaps?

John HarrisJuly 17th 2014.

I remember being told some time ago that there was a real issue with police numbers, largely as a result of moving custody facilities out of town. This meant any arrest took several officers out of circulation for several hours.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

They have to many officers sitting in stations.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

Have you counted them?!!!

AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

Piccadilly bus station is a hive of scum and villainy . There is genuine tension there , no police because there too busy down the 'posh' end of town !

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SmittyJuly 18th 2014.

Cut through it every time I'm out and getting my cab home. I've never seen any bother there. It's sometimes rowdy, but I have never, ever had a problem either at the station or in the gardens. They may be rough, certainly aren't scum.

JoanJuly 18th 2014.

I'm with you Smitty. As for anons above - I haven't got the figures immediately to hand, but I know from regular reports I receive from hard-working centre police that the picture presented above just is not true. There are criminal elements there and GMP are making arrests, but the vast majority of people using PG are honest. They might be younger than you, they might be poorer than you, they might have a different skin colour to yours, they might be wearing clothes you dislike, but they're not 'out to get you'. Why not pay people the respect of looking at them properly? Passengers in Piccadilly bus station early evening and early morning include many women who look like they might just have finished work, making our offices and shops all shiny and nice before heading home to feed the family. Can’t you consider them in a more respectful way? I pass through PG often. I'm more wary when it's dark, as I would be in any busy station almost anywhere in the world, but I still don't recognise the picture painted.

Peter CoppingJuly 19th 2014.

I would point out that there is a map of reported crime month by month which can be manipulate to measure a area like the Gay Village, or Deansgate Locks or the area around the PrintWorks GMP provide as well daily reports of what they are doing in the City Centre on Twitter

1 Response: Reply To This...
Peter CoppingJuly 19th 2014.

CMH used to monitor extended details of people attending A&E on the weekends. Whether they still do I don't know. Maybe Jon should sign on as a volunteer and find out.

JayceJuly 20th 2014.

This change of heart is completely at odds with what Kev Peel was originally setting out to do and I suspect it has more do with where he is trying to get to and whom he is trying to curry favour with at the time to ensure that happens. I have no time or respect for careerist councillors who will change their point of view on a whim for reasons that are self serving..especially after making such a fuss about how much an EMRO was needed in the first instance. I am even more convinced at this point that this all Mr Peel is interested in is himself. Lets all make no mistake about that.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

He's up for re-election in May. Do something about it.

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

Manchester is awash with councillors who are only interested in peddling their own agenda. The people of Harpurhey should show Pat Karney the boot at the next election - what has he done for them? And as for Councillor Kev, didn't he want to turn the village into some sort of temperance zone with everywhere closing at 11pm?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 28th 2014.

I think you're totally wrong. Councillors are people who clearly want local influence the same way as anybody in their job wants to have influence within the limits of their work. That is not especially a 'politician' characteristic. It is human nature. It is far better than people who don't lift a finger to affect change or make situations better. Most of the politicians I meet are honourable people who are trying to make a difference. British political scepticism is a sure way to let the buffoons of the Far Right in. Lord help us then.

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

"Most of the politicians I meet are honourable people" but there are a few who aren't and definitely get carried away up the Hubris route. "Those who lift a finger" also do not need their efforts misrepresented or to be cut off on the whim of an ego. That is anti-democratic and unjustifiable. The choice is limited and yes agree infinitely better than far right, but should not excuse 'everything' or 'anything'. It impacts the respect of those many, even in our 100% who deserve it. I just wish some of those 100% would speak up more and defend different positions than mirror the 'whip'.

JoanJuly 28th 2014.

This article was based on a response to Insp Hanson's comment about Manchester after midnight. The EMRO debate was / is about what happens at approx 4am. The two are different, so there's no change of heart.

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

Was Inspector Hanson not around during the early 90s then no?

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

Cllrs are only interested in their own agents fact. Only bother about getting things done in the area they live. They sanction the council cuts then wonder why things don't get done, while still claiming their costs for everything.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameJuly 28th 2014.

There are some councillors who are just giving a bit back, sadly some are looking at it as the start of a political career and it's one big self-publicity jaunt to that end. Unfortunately, these often get their way which is why we get politicians who have no understanding of real life on all sides of the house. Just look at the shadow cabinet and even the cabinet.

Poster BoyJuly 31st 2014.

An anthropology walkabout by a group of middle aged sobrietists unfortunately is no more valid than the agenda of the union representative. It's just that.

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