Mitzvah day team go green-fingered

By Peter Stanners

Local volunteers have been getting their hands dirty on a Faith in Communities Allotment in Gorton, Manchester, to prepare it for the winter season.

As part of Mitzvah day, a Jewish led day of social action, the green-fingered group trimmed hedges, cleaned tools and painted the sheds on the triple-sized allotment on Sunday 21 November 2010.

The allotment is run in partnership with several community organisations and provides many services, such as growing food for the disadvantaged people and running workshops on healthy eating, green exercise and poultry care.

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Appeal to trace man attacked in Gorton

MANCHESTER Police are hoping to trace a man who maybe Eastern European and was the victim of a street attack.

At about 3:30pm on Friday 29 January 2010, a group of school children told police they had seen a man being punched and kicked as he lay defenceless on a patch of grass on Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton.

They told officers that the man managed to get up after the assault and one of his attackers then threw a brick at him.

Nobody reported the matter as a crime and it is not known how seriously injured he was.

The man who was assaulted is described as a white man, in his 30s, with a bald head.

Constable Dawn Harrison, of Gorton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “I’d like to stress that the man is not in any trouble – I simply believe he was the victim of a nasty attack by a group.

“If that man was you, then please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 4274 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Slovakian man missing in Manchester

MISSING: Chromy went missing on 16 January and his friends are worried

GREATER Manchester Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate a missing Slovakian man.

Jan Chromy, 45, who now lives on Mount Road, Gorton, was last seen at 5:30pm on Saturday 16 January 2010, when his friends dropped him off near the Gorton Wine Lodge.

He is originally from Slovakia, is hard of hearing, and speaks very little English.

Detective Inspector Nicky Porter from the Public Protection Unit said: “We have growing concerns for this man as he cannot speak English and will struggle to ask for help.

“He had been working in the Werneth area of Oldham, as a painter and decorator and may have paint on his clothing.

“He has only been in the country for a month, so is unlikely to know his way around.”

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of this man, please contact the police on their dedicated missing from home mobile 07796313627 or 0161 872 5050.

Six arrested in human trafficking clampdown

POLICE in Greater Manchester have carried out an operation to safeguard children who may have been trafficked by organised crime groups.

On Monday 23 November 2009, police executed warrants in the Agnes Street area of Gorton and Stockport Road in Longsight.

Working with Manchester City Council, the aim of the operation was to identify and safeguard any children who may have been trafficked into Greater Manchester by Roma organised crime groups for exploitation and financial gain.

Operation Epee was also targeted at disrupting any organised crime groups at the heart of this exploitation.

Two men and four women, aged between 23 and 32, have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. Fifteen children who were at the addresses are now being cared for by Manchester City Council Children’s Services.

Intelligence gathered from a number of sources, including the Metropolitan Police, the UK Borders Agency and the Romanian National Police, suggested that children were being trafficked out of the small Romanian village in Tandarei into the Greater Manchester area.

Every effort will be made to identify who children are and where they are from. Welfare and support will be offered to all the children involved in today’s operation.

There is a large Roma community settled in the Gorton/Longsight area of Manchester, with an estimated 1,000 people and 200 families.

The intelligence indicated the trafficked children are at risk of being subject to cruelty by neglect and being forced to commit low-level crimes such as cashpoint distraction burglaries, pick pocketing and begging.

Since the Roma community settled in Greater Manchester, a lot of work has been done by Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council to help them settle into the community.

Superintendent Paul Savill, who led the operation, said: “Today’s operation was about identifying any children who may have been trafficked into Greater Manchester and, with Manchester City Council, giving them the welfare they need.

“We had to take action today because our intelligence suggested some of these children were being exploited and forced to commit anti-social behaviour and low-level crimes, and we have a duty of care to protect and safeguard those children.

“This operation was necessary to uncover the extent of the problem and see if there is any evidence of organised crime groups operating here. The welfare of the children is paramount and we cannot allow anyone to exploit these vulnerable people and force crime rates up.

“I want to stress that this operation was not intended to stigmatise the Roma who are settled in our community. They have an absolute right to live here and we welcome them into our diverse community. The majority of families are integrating themselves in our community positively, and again I would stress this is not about taking people’s children off them, it is about determining which, if any children, have been trafficked and ensuring they are given the appropriate support.

“Both Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council have been working very hard to give support to the Roma community and help them adjust to living with the settled community in Gorton and the results have been positive.”

Manchester City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Val Stevens, who has responsibility for community cohesion, said: “Manchester City Council has been working closely with the community along with GMP and partner agencies. We have supported the police throughout this operation and will continue to work with them and the families involved.”

£1.5 million car thieves jailed

THREE MEN who stole dozens of expensive cars worth around £1.5 million in were jailed on Friday 16 October 2009.

Netiale Coudjoe, 18, of Holmcroft Road, Gorton, Keaton Samuels, 18, of Netherton Road, Fallowfield, and Marcus Wilhelm, born 18 of Montreal Street, Levenshulme, pleaded guilty to a number of offences at an earlier hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Coudjoe pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and conspiracy to convert stolen goods. Samuels pleaded guilty to six offences of burglary and conspiracy to convert stolen goods while Wilhelm pleaded guilty to robbery, two offences of burgalry and conspiracy to convert stolen goods.

They were all today sentenced to three years imprisonment.

All three men were arrested by officers from Stockport’s Volume Crime Team as part of Operation Mimot  an investigation into burglaries and robberies in and around Stockport, most of which involved the theft of vehicles from outside houses.

Between October 2007 and February 2009, the gang stole dozens of high performance cars, including Porches and BMWs.

On most occasions they either sneaked into the house and stole the car keys before driving off or they smashed their way through a back door and stole the keys.

On one occasion, on 5 January 2009, the three men burst into the kitchen of a house on Manor Road, Altrincham, and threatened a 26-year-old man with a hammer, demanding he hand over the keys to his VW Golf.

Fearing for his safety he handed the keys over.

Detective Constable Malcolm Such, of Stockport Volume Crime Team, said: “This was a prolific gang who targeted mainly expensive cars parked outside houses in Stockport, Fallowfield and Altrincham.

“Their preferred method was to sneak or break into a house and escape with the keys. However, as the robbery in Altrincham shows they did not shy away from using or threatening violence.”

Men offer underage girls cash for sex

TWO MEN approached two underage school girls and offered them money for sex in Gorton.

Around 3pm on Saturday 10 October 2009, the offenders, aged between 20 and 30, tried to talk to the 13-year-old girls near the Vale Cottage Pub on Croft Bank.

The girls walked away but were followed by the men who offered the girls money for sex and grabbed them by the arm.

The girls managed to break free and ran into the pub for help.

The men were last seen on the car park of the Vale Cottage pub.

The first man is described as Asian, 5ft 3in tall, of skinny build with short brown hair and was wearing a blue jacket.

Anyone with information should contact Longsight CID on 0161 8561376 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.