‘Nowhere for criminals to hide’ - crackdown on fake goods continues as major hub is shut down

  • Friday 7 October 2022

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Image of the closed properties.

Another blow has been struck against criminals in Manchester after a hive of illegal activity was shut down. 

On Thursday, October 7 a closure order was successfully obtained against four properties in Great Ducie Street. 

These properties, numbered 175, 177, 179 and 181, were known to Manchester City Council as locations that had a long-standing association with criminal behaviour. (See below for full closure details). 

The properties are covered in plywood which has been painted black and, as a result, they have always stood out on this stretch of road as being completely dilapidated, and contributing to the low amenity of the area. 

The sale of counterfeit goods and clothing has been traced back to this site on numerous occasions and has been well-known to the Council for some time. ‘Spotters’ which loiter outside these buildings trying to attract businesses are also known to be a persistent source of anti-social behaviour. 

Also, owing to concerns regarding the safety of the electricity supply for one of the properties, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service contacted Electricity North West who came to assess the premises. On inspection, it became clear that the properties had been abstracting electricity and operatives came down on October 7 to disconnect the electricity supply accordingly. 

On Thursday, October 7, at a hearing at Manchester Magistrates Court, a Closure Order was granted. 

The closure order relates to:   
- 175 Great Ducie Street (full unit)  
- 177 Great Ducie Street (Note: 1st floor only. The Chai n Coffee Convenience store is not subject to the order).  
- 179 Great Ducie Street (full unit)  
- 181 Great Ducie Street (full unit) 

The premises will remain closed for three months, with a prohibition on anyone entering other than the registered landlords, members of the emergency services or any employee working on behalf of Manchester City Council. 

The four landlords of the properties concerned were also ordered to pay costs of £4,000 to the City Council. (£1,000 for each premises). 

On Friday, October 8, officers from Manchester City Council’s Trading Standards, Neighbourhoods and Anti-Social Behaviour Teams were joined by Greater Manchester Police to enforce the closure order at the premises.  

The premises, which comprises four separate buildings are owned by four separate individuals and have been further subdivided inside, creating a self-contained marketplace for fake goods.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “This is one of the largest closure orders we’ve secured as a Council and is the fourth we’ve secured along this road in the past 18 months. 

“We know the negative impact that criminality has on this area and know the detriment it has on the local community. However, we want to make it very clear through our actions today – there isn’t anywhere criminals can hide. They will be caught. 

“With our partners in Greater Manchester Police, UK Border Force and HMRC we are working tirelessly to stamp out counterfeit goods crime, and create neighbourhoods that are safe, vibrant and thriving.”

Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This is a great example of what multi-agency partnerships can achieve. 

“We have caused significant disruption to the criminal fraternity in Cheetham Hill and on the crackdown of counterfeit goods and clothing. 

“I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and we are very much looking forward to continuing to stamp out the illegal activity in Cheetham Hill, as well as across Greater Manchester.” 

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