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SALFORD COUNCIL NEW ANTI THEFT DEVICE
 

Star date: 4th October 2010 

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL LAUNCHES NEW ANTI THEFT DETERRENT ?

Following more break-ins at the tinned up Top Streets in Higher Broughton over the weekend, and Salford Council's failure to answer our questions about security, the Salford Star went on a tour there this morning to discover for ourselves the conditions that the remaining residents are living in…

We think that we've discovered the Council's response to thieves breaking into the empty properties.

More details here (warning: naughty language coming up…)


Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010 Top Streets, Higher Broughton, Salford October 2010
click image to enlarge

This couldn't seriously be Salford Council's response to anti-social behaviour in the Top Streets of Higher Broughton, could it? It's certainly sprayed in the Council's unique black stencil style. The few remaining residents definitely haven't done it, and neither has Salford Star been out with the spray can.

So with the cuts in public spending and stuff maybe the Council is saving on doing proper security by leaving a message for would-be thieves… `All Materials of Value Have Been Removed…So Fuck Off'

It's now two weeks since the Broughton Attic Attack (see here) when thieves hammered through brickwork in six attics of tinned up properties to reach the loft of Guy Griffiths' house. In a nightmare scenario, he saw a hand coming out of his attic but managed to fend off the assailant before any damage could be done.

Salford Council actually owns all the properties in the Top Streets, including houses where residents are still living, and has a `duty of care' to those people. Guy had warned the Council at least three times that something like this would happen and that empty properties should be bricked up rather than tinned up. But Salford Council Leader and Broughton councillor, John Merry, insisted that the tins were "effective" and "robust", and Councillor Peter Connor, Lead Member for Housing, had promised that "In response to this incident further security measures have been taken."

However, apart from re-bricking the attics that were smashed up, nothing seems to have been done at all. In fact there's been three cases over the weekend where the tins have been removed from houses and thieves have got in again, looking for copper piping, lead and anything else that they can sell.

We went on a tour of the area this morning and saw for ourselves the "robust"  tins ripped off windows and a door. 

Guy Griffiths again wrote to John Merry and Peter Connor this morning…

"There have been another 3 (three) break ins to council owned properties on
Cardiff Street over the weekend, one through a "robustly secured" door, which a resident has nailed shut as a emergency measure and 2 (two) through "robustly secured" windows.. I ask once again that you brick up all council owned properties in the area and remind you of your duty of care. I hope one of the remaining residents does not have to use legal measures to make the council take action."

On our tour, passing residents told of the empty properties being used as drug dens and the Top Streets becoming a playground for kids messing around on stolen motorbikes. All this in the name of `regeneration'

"They talk about how great Broughton Green is all the time but they never talk about what it's like around here" said one passing walker "It's shocking".

And then in King Street we spotted the new deterrent sprayed onto the tins…`All Materials of Value Have Been Removed…So Fuck Off'

We wrote to both Councillors Connor and Merry last week asking what new security measures had been taken. Maybe this is it!

* The properties left standing in the Top Streets are currently the subject of a High Court injunction taken out by three of the residents to force Salford Council to stick by its promise to renovate the properties and not demolish them. There is no developer currently interested in the site and Salford's housing waiting list tops 18,000. 

Stop Press: 5th October

Salford Council has just released this rersponse...

Councillor Peter Connor, Salford City Council's lead member for housing said: "The city council takes appropriate steps to secure all vacant properties wherever they may be. In general this includes not only the securing of doors and windows but also disconnecting utilities and removing items of value such as boilers and piping.

"In relation to Top Streets the council has taken a range of additional measures, which includes the bricking up of some doors and windows, and other measures which is not appropriate to publicise. We are aware that criminal damage is sometimes visited upon some of the properties that we are managing and as a result appropriate repairs are made as necessary. We take the discharge of our responsibilities seriously".

 

Mr.Griffiths wrote
at 5:47:37 AM on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This morning I saw one of the inspectors from "Building control" with a policeman. There had been another break in yesterday, which the council,s "other measures" had picked up. Bearing how long this has been going on I really cannot understand why the houses are not bricked up.
 
Mr Griffiths wrote
at 10:47:17 AM on Tuesday, October 19, 2010
These break ins are ongoing. The contrators did a sweep last week and found a lot of properties had been broken into. Another one was found broken into today. Still no word on whether they will brick up the remaining properties. I have requested the job sheets for the last 6 months. Maybe this will shame them into properly securing the properties but I doubt it.
 
Mr Griffiths wrote
at 10:18:12 AM on Thursday, October 7, 2010
Maybe Councillor Connor would like to tell us when these measures were taken as the 3 most recent breakins happened last weekend. Either the measures have not worked or have not been taken yet. It is awful to be left like this with improperly secured property all around.
 
Joe. C wrote
at 12:06:17 PM on Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I saw this article on another site and checked the date for April 1st. Am I missing something here? If I was breaking into a row of empty houses and 4 had the doors and windows bricked up and the rest did not, I would just break into one that wasn,t bricked and then go through the internal walls of the houses, which, in the original article, the thieves did. Come on Salford council----it is not rocket science. It looks like you are trying to make things as awkward as possible to force the last residents out.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 9:32:55 AM on Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Please tell me that the council did this. It might prove that somebody down at the funhouse has a sense of humour. I'm affraid, Alice, that there is no proffit for developers in this so nothing will happen. It seems obvious to me that the Council are not interested in the people of Salford.
 
Mr Griffiths wrote
at 9:32:50 AM on Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Somehow, I do not think that these measures will be effective. I have still not had any response from Cllrs Merry and Connor about what action they will be taking to secure the properties that the council owns. They seem to be ignoring their duty of care to remaining residents.
 
Alice Searle wrote
at 3:56:07 PM on Monday, October 4, 2010
If properties are left empty they will attract those hoping to increase their income with whatever they can find. This is a consequence of unemployment and desperation I do not understand the logic of closing down good houses. My house is 100 years old next year and certainly not material for demolition so why are these. It would cost far less to get the houses renovated and in use . This would create work for the depressed construction industry, stop the vandalism since the sites would be supervised and open up good houses. What is being achieved by leaving them boarded up to deteriorate? The Council could even allow out of work builders, working in co-operatives, the opportunity to renovate some of the houses with the incentive of part ownership on completion. This was done in the war years. I would like to recommend to the Councillors that they check out Baytree [three streets in Harpurhey.] Manchester. These streets were scheduled for demolition but the residents objected and the houses were renovated with various grants and now the Council 'shows off' this area, which has a lively, proud community.
 
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