Shots highlight surge in estate violence
Wednesday 08 July 1992
Shots were fired from a handgun late on Monday at two police vans and a fire engine. No one was hurt in three incidents separated by 30 minutes and a few hundred yards, but linked to episodes of car theft and arson in the area during the past 18 months.
The single bullet that struck the fire engine's ladder was the most serious in an increasing number of attacks on firefighters, who were stoned on Friday by a crowd of young men at a fire in a carpet warehouse.
Police were yesterday studying the bullets, which hit two vans patrolling the estate; one shot hit the side of a vehicle two feet behind the driver's seat.
Greater Manchester police said the shootings were a culmination of a cycle of violence that began with arson attacks on Wednesday on five cars and a neighbourhood centre which housed Salford City Council services devolved to Ordsall.
Subsequently, a security guard had been beaten, and arsonists had attacked Salford University, a hamburger restaurant and the main Salford police station, DaVid Wilmot, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, said.
Reports of guns in Ordsall were made to police on Friday. Mr Wilmot said shots had been fired in the air and at cars during outbreaks of joyriding, ram-raiding and burning of vehicles in the area.
'We believe these incidents are orchestrated by a small group of cirminals,' Mr Wilmot said.
'There is no no-go area - we will continue to police effectively.'
Police have been deliberately ambiguous about the crime which, Ordsall residents said, was operated by a small ring. Car theft, drug dealing and extortion have been traced to the estate, but police do not link the shootings with any one category of offence.
Residents say unemployed young men infatuated with a criminal cadre have been manipulated to give resistance to the police and fire service.
They also claim policing is characterised by either a massive, intimidating presence or an absence of police.
None of the incidents catalogued since March 1991 has assumed the size or intensity of a riot.
'You cannot say there has been a conflict between the Ordsall community and the police,' a senior police officer said.
'Guns have been found when arrests have been made in Ordsall, but you cannot assume that those guns were to have been used against the police.'
Arrests in Ordsall this year may have lit a fuse of increasing violence. Police changed their tactics late last year, with a special focus on car thefts.
Local people say arrests of several local men have made other criminals more anxious. The fresh graffiti denouncing an Ordsall police informant is conspicuous around the estate of 2,200 homes built by Salford council in the 1960 and 1970s.
The council has budgeted pounds 30m for a 10-year programme of improvements to Ordsall estate begun in 1989; housing association and private investment is projected to add a further pounds 10m.
An island between Manchester city centre and the speculative office developments around Salford docks, Ordsall has already lost many of its slum flats to houses and bungalows popular with tenants.
Coronation Street - a renovated Victorian terrace that has also been the subject of arson attacks - has been commended for the quality of low-cost housing provided.
But unemployment is endemic, along with problems of domestic violence and family break-up. Government figures of 17 per cent for unemployment in Ordsall probably underestimates the problem, especially among women.
More than half of the jobless have been out of work for at least one year.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Fee Earner/Techn...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This law firm is seeking a happy, helpful and ...
£26000 - £29000 per annum + Holidays & Pension: The Jenrick Group: Production ...