Police Refuse To Police Police Street

Photo by C.Hewitt

They once knew it as a quiet side street offering a shortcut between Kings St and St. Ann St; but Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement this week explaining that because of high levels of crime, they would no longer patrol Police St.

GMP said in the last half of 2015 there had been a 35% increase in violent behaviour while anti-social behaviour soared up 70%. When pressed on the cause, GMP singled out Waterstones. DI John Sprinkle said: “People assume because it’s a bookshop that customers are mild-mannered but that isn’t the case.”

He pointed out the stores miss-management of caffeine from its Cafe W as the problem.

“They get into arguments,” he said. “It starts as a debate and then voices rise, before you know it they’ve stepped outside to settle differences. It’s the pub mentality and they think because they’re using the back entrance nobody sees them.”
Waterstones has two entrances/exits in the Deansgate store.

The front is accessible on Deansgate; but the back entrance is situated on Police St and businesses operating in and around the area are concerned. Eyewitness accounts of the goings on liken Police St to scenes of 1980s football hooliganism with fighting, chanting, graffiti and even criminal damage of property.

“Bill Bryson’s new book signing was madness. Somebody slapped a police horse…”

So, is this so called lit-violence tarnishing what residents would call the nicer half of the city? The CEO of Waterstones, Shilpa Calhoon, explained: “They have blown the figures out of proportion. The store has seen a tiny amount of unruly behaviour but to ease a police presence in the area, we see it as an overreaction.”

Pressed on the matter of fight club style meet ups at the store or book rucks as they are referred to: “Absolutely not. Waterstones offers a unique experience of book buying coupled with the cafe lifestyle. Our customers are law-abiding citizens they’re hardly the mafia.”

DI Sprinkle sees it differently: “I’ve been there on the front line. Bill Bryson’s new book signing was madness. Somebody slapped a police horse with a hard-back edition. Who does that?”

Online retailers are reaping the rewards of the store’s unnecessary media coverage and public safety concerns. They boasted a growth in sales from Manchester areas as shoppers look to safer options.

DI Sprinkle added: “Who wants to risk a shanking over Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook when you can buy it online from the safety of your own home.”

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Manchester’s Fight Against Sinkholes Calls For Pricks

Photo by C.Hewitt

Not since Manchester dusted itself down after hosting the 2008 Europa League Final has there been such an uneasy atmosphere in the city. Fear is hounding residents, blanketing its buildings and delaying the new Metrolink. This fear, however, isn’t arriving on coaches in the form of pissed Scots. This fear is underground, unseen by the human eye until it does the damage.


In August this year the Mancunian Way was brought to a close twice when sinkholes appeared. September saw the B532 in Salford closed when another was discovered and just last week Great Bridgewater Street fell victim.

“The city will not disappear,” said city Mayor Wexford Crestfuck. Keen to ease minds, he added: “Planning has already started for the Christmas Markets. We’d hardly do that if we thought Manchester would collapse around us.”

The Council’s Highways Infrastructure and Transport (HIT) spokeswoman Sheila Scrumpoke, addressed 90% of calls the HIT sinkhole hotline had received: “Coronation Street is not in danger. We expected this problem when the new set was built. Not only are the famous cobbles sinkhole proof, they’re also earthquake and IRA proof.”

“Coronation Street is not in danger.”

What HIT has done is to seek advice from across the Atlantic, specifically Tampa, Florida; the home of Dr Bud Gratestreaker. Both he and his team flew into Manchester earlier this week and began their investigations. They have been at the forefront of sinkhole activity for fifteen years. The doctor himself has a personal connection since his grandmother was swallowed by one in 2003.
“It creates a sinkhole when the air that has been supporting the ground above expels,” he said. “It’s called geoflatulence. This causes whatever sits above; in Manchester’s case seems to be only roads, to fall in on its self creating the hole.”

Using geotechnical engineering machinery throughout the city’s roads, Dr Gratestreaker’s team have scanned and identified certain core points they feel geoflatulence is possible and have been swift to act.
“We use a process called Pricking,” he explained. “We insert a steel rod into the identified area which allows the air to escape. Another steel rod pumps a solidifying solution, like expanding foam, into the void and fills it.”
When pressed about where these ‘identified areas’ were, Dr Gratestreaker said: “Owing to health and safety and so we don’t scare away potential investors, we cannot divulge exact locations….but I’d avoid Deansgate next week.”

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