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Drink drive arrests up during England's first World Cup game

Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith

Police have revealed they arrested 264 people across Greater Manchester during their summer drink drive operation. The busiest night for arrests was Saturday 14 June, the night of England’s first fixture. Of those arrested 63 blew positive following a crash.

More than 6,000 motorists were breathalysed as part of the month-long crackdown. 4.3 per cent were over the limit compared with 5.1 per cent last year.

It was part of a crackdown campaign in partnership with emergency services and Drivesafe at the to coincide with the World Cup. A car wreckage from a drink drive crash was put on display outside Manchester Town Hall and posters encouraging abstinence rather than restraint were put up in pubs.

As part of the operation, patrols were increased to specifically target people drink driving and officers breathalysed 1,100 more motorists than last year, paying a particular focus on the nights England played and the morning after.

Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith, coordinator of this year’s drink drive operation said: “Any reduction is positive and it’s great to see people heeding our ‘None for the Road’ message but 264 is still 264 too many.

“The World Cup and warm weather do not give people an excuse to drink drive and although our operation may be over, drink driving continues to be a priority and remains firmly on our agenda.”

How safe is Manchester city centre after midnight?

A senior police officer says he believes it's dangerous because of violence and other problems linked to drinking.

Inspector Ian Hanson, a leader of the police federation in Greater Manchester, blames cuts and says public safety can't be guaranteed.

But the council and the force itself say his comments are wrong and they're working together to deal with the challenges.

Here's our correspondent Matt O'Donoghue with the story:

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Man jailed for assault in Manchester

A man has been sentenced for viciously attacking another man as he left a Christmas party in Manchester city centre.

Alan Croydon, 25, of Norland Walk, Manchester, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 12 months in prison.He pleaded guilty to ABH at an earlier hearing.

Aaron Buckley, also 25, of Coronation Street, Openshaw, failed to attend court for sentence on Friday 06 June 2014 and is currently wanted.

He pleaded guilty to ABH at an earlier hearing.

On the evening of December 6 last year at about 12.30am the victim, a 32-year-old Doctor of Science was making his way home after a Christmas party, walking down Dale Street.

He was approached by three men who started to talk to the victim and then two of them suddenly attacked him; punching and kicking the victim to the floor, before stamping on him.

Detective Constable Paul Wilde from North Manchester division, said: "These two men viciously attacked an innocent man as he walked home after a Christmas party.

"The CCTV clearly shows the ferocity of this attack and the man was very lucky to have walked away with minor injuries. Croydon and Buckley subjected the man to an unprovoked and violent attack and such disgraceful acts will not be tolerated.

"One man failed to attend court and he needs to be brought to justice, but one man is now behind bars and I hope the sentence means the victim can move on with his life."

Loose snake causes a stir in Chorlton

Snake causes a stir in Chorlton. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A four foot snake caused alarm when it was spotted slithering down a street in Manchester.

Shocked residents in Chorlton couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the reptile on the pavement.

They called the police after the reptile appeared on Tuesday morning.

Officers arrived on the scene and the RSPCA were also asked to attend and capture the creature.

The RSPCA were called to capture the snake. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police appeal for Gorton man on prison recall

Peter Edge is wanted by police. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police have released an image of a Gorton man with a history of domestic violence who is wanted on recall to prison.

Peter Edge, 23, is wanted after failing to return to his approved premises while on licence.

Edge had been released from prison in week after being sentenced to four years for a domestic related wounding.

Greater Manchester Police said the wounding involved him stabbing a victim and breaking the arm of a further victim.

Edge has links to the Gorton area of Manchester as well as Newton Heath.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3508 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Police Federation chairman says Manchester "too dangerous" at night

Ian Hanson, chairman of Manchester Police Federation Credit: Manchester Evening News

A senior police officer has said he wouldn’t go out in Manchester after midnight as it’s "too dangerous".

Inspector Ian Hanson is chairman of the Greater Manchester branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file police officers.

He accused civic leaders of ‘burying their heads in the sand’ over funding for front line officers.

He also says they have failed to respond to concerns from senior police officers that they are reaching a ‘tipping point’.

It's been claimed the number of police officers covering the city centre has been slashed n recent years, a period when more and more people have moved into Manchester and more bars are opening to quench their thirst.

Inspector Hanson said: “The situation in Manchester city centre is at crisis point.

"The number of people coming into Manchester are increasing every week and the demands upon the ridiculously few police officers fighting a losing battle to keep our city safe are spiralling out of control.

“I personally would not now go into Manchester city centre after midnight because it is now too dangerous a place and I do not believe that we can guarantee individuals' safety the way things are at the moment.

"Our politicians now need to listen to and get behind police leaders to do what they are elected to do – and that’s keep the people of Manchester safe."

Pensioner tied up and beaten - for £40

Police are hunting four men who tied up a 77-year-old man in his own home in Stockport and assaulted him with a crowbar.

The offenders threatened to kill the victim unless he gave them money and jewellery, before leaving him tied up for almost an hour as they ransacked the house looking for valuables.

They ran off with just £40.

The incident happened at around 10.30pm yesterday.

Four men broke into the victim’s house on Bramhall Lane South, Stockport, and bound his hands and feet with duct tape.

They placed a pillow over the victim’s face and subjected him to a brutal assault, punching him in the face until he lost teeth and suffered eye injuries, before beating him on the body with a crowbar.

Detective Constable Joseph Trippett said: “This was an utterly terrifying ordeal for the victim, who was left tied up and wounded on his bed as the four men trashed his house looking for valuables.

“They subjected him to a vicious assault that left him requiring hospital treatment and means he is scared to be alone in his own home.

“The injuries were so appalling that the victim’s son required medical attention for shock.

“The fact these men were willing to subject this vulnerable old man to such horrific treatment for the sake of just £40 demonstrates how important it is that we bring them to justice.

“If you saw anything that may assist our enquiries, particularly if it is a physical description of the offenders, or have any information as to the identity of the men involved please contact Police.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Man wanted over "repeated rape and assaults"

Police are looking for alleged rapist Joseph Grundy. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police are hunting a man in connection with the repeated rape and assault of a woman.

Officers want to speak to Joseph Grundy, 39, who is from the Harpurhey area, in connection with a number of different offences committed against the same woman between 2008 and 2013.

The alleged offences include rapes, assaults and threats to kill.

Greater Manchester Police said Grundy knows he is wanted but has refused to surrender himself to police who are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Shagufta Khan said: "Grundy is wanted in connection with a number of very serious offences so it is vital that we trace his whereabouts and speak to him as soon as possible.

"We are offering support to the woman through specially-trained officers but I would also appeal to the public to come forward with any information they have that will lead us to Grundy’s whereabouts."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

CCTV appeal after attempted robbery at Moston bookmaker

Police have released CCTV pictures after two men attempted to rob a bookmaker in Moston, Manchester.

The incident happened at around 8.15pm on Friday, June 13, when two men got out of a dark blue Ford Focus which was parked outside Coral bookmakers on Moston Lane.

They went inside and one of the men, who was armed with a meat cleaver, went to the cashier’s desk and demanded money.

He attempted to smash the security glass while the other man stayed by the door.

Both men left empty handed when the alarm was set off.

They got into the same car parked outside and drove away.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident.

The offenders are described as black and both were wearing balaclavas and dark clothing with the hood up. One is described as around 6ft tall and slim while the other is around 5ft 6in tall and stocky.

Detective Constable Nick Kershaw said: “The dark blue Ford Focus had tinted back windows and was parked outside the bookmakers for several minutes before the two offenders went inside.

"We would ask if anyone saw this car or the two men before or after the robbery to contact police.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 3925 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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