Police are seeking drive-by shooters who sprayed a house in Cheetham Hill, an area of Manchester with an “entrenched criminal culture” and the site of several anti-terror raids.
Two-men on a “moped-style motorbike” opened fire on a terraced house on Galsworthy Avenue around 12.40 a.m. on Friday morning in what is believed to be a “targeted attack”, the Manchester Evening News reports.
“It’s still early in our investigation, and we are working to establish the full circumstances of the incident, but it appears this was a targeted attack,” commented Detective Chief Inspector Richard Ennis.
“While we carry out enquiries, patrols have been increased in the area, and I’d ask anyone with concerns to speak to these officers directly.
“You can help us find the people responsible for this by sharing any information, no matter how small, if you saw something suspicious in the early hours of this morning.”
The attack was carried out as local Muslims were leaving a busy Ramadan service at a nearby mosque, which may have aided the gunmen’s escape.
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It was also described as having an “entrenched criminal culture” in a 2016 report by the Intellectual Property Office, which described the area as a “focal point in the UK market for counterfeit goods”.
Police and trading standards seized counterfeit goods worth £1.5 million during fourteen raids shortly before Christmas that year.
The authorities had previously seized a million counterfeit cigarettes and 70 kilos of fake tobacco in 2014, £1 million in fake designer clothes, handbags, and footwear in 2013, and £250,000 in fake vodka in 2010.
Continued “widespread criminality” in spite of these large-scale enforcement actions prompted the IPO to urge additional support for Greater Manchester Police to help them get ahead of the problem — which has links to organised crime, the illegal drugs trade, and violence.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the minister responsible for intellectual property at the time, described Cheetham Hill as a “problem area” where “income tax and consumers safety is simply ignored”, undercutting and undermining legitimate businesses and allowing “other criminality to be funded and flourish.”