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Man charged with murdering father in attack in Heywood

A man has been charged with murdering his father following an attack at a house in Heywood.

Police were called to Claybank Street, Heywood, shortly before 5.45pm on Sunday 5 April 2015, following reports two people had been assaulted.

Officers attended and found 52-year-old Graham Clarke with stab injuries.

He was transferred to hospital but died a short time later.

Man arrested after Heywood murder

Police have arrested a man in connection with a murder on Claybank Street Credit: Granada reports

Police in Greater Manchester have arrested a 34 year old man in connection with a murder at a house in Heywood yesterday.

A 52-year-old man was found stabbed to death at an address on Claybank Street just before six o'clock last night after police investigated reports two people had been attacked.

A 37-year-old woman who was also at the house suffered facial injuries.

While the news that a man has been murdered, coupled with the police presence at the address will most likely cause some concern to residents, I want to reassure them that we believe this to be an isolated incident and there to be no wider threat to the community.

– Detective Chief Inspector John Harris

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Man dies and woman injured in knife attack

A man has died after being stabbed in an attack at a house in Greater Manchester, which also left a woman with injuries to her face.

The 52-year-old victim was at a property in Claybank Street, Heywood, along with the 37-year-old woman when they were attacked shortly after 5.40pm this afternoon.

The attack happened at a house in Claybank Street Credit: Google Maps

Det Ch Insp John Harris said officers were now searching for the person responsible.

While the news that a man has been murdered, coupled with the police presence at the address will most likely cause some concern to residents, I want to reassure them that we believe this to be an isolated incident and there to be no wider threat to the community.

We will have officers in and around the area should any residents wish to come and talk to us or pass on any information they may have about this terrible incident.

– DCI John Harris, Greater Manchester Police

He urged witnesses or anyone with information to call police on 101.

Taxi boss will no longer offer white drivers on demand

The owner of a taxi firm in Rochdale has made a dramatic U-turn on his policy of offering customers a white driver if they requested it.

Stephen Campbell, boss of Car 2000 in Heywood, changed his mind after dozens of his Asian drivers staged a protest in the town centre calling the service ‘racist’ and ‘discriminatory’.

Mr Campbell employs 80 drivers at Car 2000, 55 of whom are Asian. All 55 were on strike today over the row.

Report: Controversy over the taxi firm that's offering white drivers to customers who ask for them

There's controversy over a taxi firm in Heywood that's offering white drivers to customers when they ask for them.

It says all it's providing a service to people who want it.

Rochdale council is now looking into the firm's policy.

This report from our correspondent Elaine Willcox.

Taxi firm says it's 'catering to demand'

The story in today's Guardian.

Nine men from Pakistan and Afghanistan were jailed for a total of 77 years in May 2012 for plying young, vulnerable girls with drink and drugs so they could "pass them around" for sex.

A serious case review highlighted a catalogue of "shocking" failures and found that social workers and police adopted a "colour blind" approach that was "potentially dangerous".

Mr Campbell's firm, Car 2000, took over Eagle Taxis, a firm which formerly employed two drivers at the heart of the scandal, in May 2011.

But he said he only discovered that two former employees were part of grooming ring when they were on the news for being in court the following year.

He said at least two other taxi firms in the borough of Rochdale only employed white drivers, but 60% of the cabbies on his books were Asian.

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Danczuk: "It's a worrying sign"

"This story is not unique to Rochdale, but it is a worrying sign of some of the tensions that still exist in the wake of the grooming scandal.

"There is clearly a lot of work to be done in terms of rebuilding community relations. The whole town wants to move on from this scandal and politicians have a duty to talk openly about these issues."

– Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale

"Any private-hire business must satisfy a 'fit and proper' test before they are licensed by the council and able to operate within the borough.

"While we have not had any complaints regarding Car 2000 up to this point, we are now taking legal advice as to whether their policy to offer white drivers contravenes the 'fit and proper' test, and will act accordingly depending on the outcome of that advice."

– Mark Widdup, Rochdale Borough Council

Taxi firm provides "white drivers on demand"

A Rochdale taxi firm is providing white drivers to customers on request, the Guardian newspaper has claimed.

The report says that the firm, Car 2000, told them customers are asking for white drivers as a result of the grooming scandal.

Two of the defendants in the case were taxi drivers and were jailed for their part in the rape and trafficking of young white girls.

They worked for Eagle Taxis, which was later taken over by Car 2000.

We have had quite a lot of customers requesting what they call a ‘local’ driver. A bit insane if you consider that most of the [Asian] lads were born in Rochdale.

– Stephen Campbell, manager of Car 2000, speaking to the Guardian

Threats made with wood and rocks in cricket club robbery

Three men armed with rocks and pieces of wood rounded up and threatened four people at Heywood cricket club.

The incident happened around 10.15pm on Sunday night. Four people, two women aged 65 and 45, and two men of 61 and 65, were inside at the time.

A Greater Manchester Police statement said:

The armed gang made demands for cash before trying to smash CCTV camera.

They then left with an amount of cash.

All three were white, about 6ft tall and of medium build. One was wearing a hooded top and had a stripy scarf covering his face, a second was aged between 20 and 25 and was wearing dark clothing and a hockey mask and a third was also aged between 20 and 25 and was wearing dark clothing.

Detective Constable Mark Green, said: “These three men have threatened and intimidated four innocent people, caused damage to the property and have stolen cash and we are working hard to establish who they are.

“If anyone has any information about the robbery or those responsible I would urge them to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8701, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

– Greater Manchester Police statement

UKIP confirm candidate for Heywood and Middleton by-election

John Bickley hopes to become MP for Heywood and Middleton.

The UK Independence Party has announced that their candidate to contest the forthcoming parliamentary by-election in Heywood and Middleton is John Bickley.

The election was called following the death of MP Jim Dobbin at the weekend.

Mr Bickley, 61, said, “I’m honoured to have been asked to represent the party.

“It is a Labour stronghold where by pure co-incidence I actually lived for a while as a small boy.

“I am looking forward to getting out and about and talking to voters and explaining why UKIP is the only party that really represents their interests now.”

This will be second by-election Mr Bickley has contested this year as he was UKIP’s candidate in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, where he came second.

He began his working career with a Manchester based company as a laboratory technician. After five years John joined EMI Records representing them in the North West before moving to London in the early ‘80’s and working for a number of music and video film companies at a senior level.

Mr Bickley returned to the North West in 1992 to take up a senior position with a Liverpool based computer and video games company. He now runs his own software company and has diverse experience of international markets in music, film, video games and technology software.

He is a father-of-two and his wife works as a part-time carer at a special needs school.

The party said Mr Bickley joined UKIP three years ago and has been an active member of the party's Cheshire West branch. His interests apart from politics include walking.

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