Shots highlight surge in estate violence

ARMED police patrolled near the perimeter of Ordsall last night after four bullets turned the Manchester housing estate into the scene of tense confrontation between inner city poverty and policing.

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz