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Police woman injured in 'appalling incident'

This is an appalling incident where the officer has been unnecessarily injured when she has only been trying to establish what has happened earlier in the night

“Thankfully she has not sustained any broken bones or any other serious injuries but this is still something that should not happen to somebody who was only trying to do their job.

“If anybody has any information then I would urge them to contact the police. I would also like to appeal for assistance from parents in knowing where their sons and daughters are planning to be over the weekend so that they can stay safe.

“We will continue to work closely with residents and the council to ensure that there is no repeat of the disturbances which lead to this disgraceful incident.”

– Detective Inspector Charlotte Cadden

Police officer dragged by car in Rochdale

Police are appealing for information after a car drove off with an officer hanging out of the window in Rochdale. Officers had been called to Yorkshire Street around 9 last night following reports of a disturbance. When one officers approached a car window and leaned in to speak to the occupants, the driver of the car set off, forcing the officer to cling on to one of the car seats for 150 yards before speeding up again until the at officer could hold on no more and fell from the car and lay injured in the road.

She is now being treated at hospital for serious bruising and shock. The car is described as a dark coloured 5 door hatchback and the five occupants of the car are described as Asian men

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Police woman injured in Rochdale

Yorkshire Street

A police woman has been injured trying to stop a car in Rochdale. The officer was responding to a call from a member of the public that a disturbance had broken out following a nearby bonfire. Details are vague at this stage but it's believed she was attempting to stop a car leaving the scene on Yorkshire street when she was knocked down. The extent of her injuries are unknown at this time.

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.

Cannabis lamps helps grass grow on Rochdale pitch

Lamp seized from cannabis farm at Rochdale FC Credit: ITV Granada

Rochdale football club has installed heat lamps seized from cannabis farms to help grow the grass on the pitch.

The club has used the equipment which was donated by police to build a lighting rig to help cultivate the grass on the pitch's problem areas.

Lamp seized from cannabis farm at Rochdale FC Credit: ITV Granada, Tim Scott

The two metre square rig, built using old five-a-side posts, will be used to help keep the Spotland playing surface lush and green in the goal mouths and around the tunnel.

It has saved the league one club more than £60,000.

Cannabis lights help grow Rochdale football pitch

Groundsman Oli Makin and PC Sean Goddard with a lighting rig built with equipment seized by police during cannabis raids Credit: Manchester Evening News

Lights seized from cannabis farms are now helping grow ‘the right kind of grass’ after being donated to the groundsmen at Rochdale AFC.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the equipment has allowed staff to build a lighting rig to maintain the pitch’s problem areas - saving the Dale more than £60,000.

The two metre square rig, built using old five-a-side posts, will be used to help keep the Spotland playing surface lush and green in the goal mouths and around the tunnel.

Head groundsman Oli Makin approached Rochdale police to see if they could hand over the equipment, confiscated during raids on drugs factories in the area, after hearing that Nottingham police had done something similar for Notts County.

We’re starting to use it everyday. After the game on Saturday we put it straight back on the pitch.

I know it will work so it will be a massive help.

I can’t thank the police enough - it’s benefitting them and it’s benefitting us.

– Oli Makin, Head groundsman at Rochdale AFC

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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.

Manchester MP piles pressure on abuse inquiry chief

South Manchester MP John Leech has submitted a parliamentary motion calling on the Chair of the Historic Child Sex Abuse inquiry Fiona Woolf to stand down.

He said he wants an inquiry that is transparent, independent and would challenge the establishment.

“I submitted this EDM because I want an inquiry that the victims of historic sex abuse can have faith in.

"That allows the victims the chance to give evidence.

"That challenges the establishment and makes clear that those who have done wrong, or covered up abuse, are going to be brought to justice.”

– John Leech MP

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.

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
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