Police Refuse To Police Police Street

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It was once known as a quiet side street offering a short cut between Kings St and St. Ann St; however Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement this week explaining that as a result of high levels of crime, Police St would no longer be patrolled.

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 book shop that customers are mild mannered but it just 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; however the back entrance is situated on Police St and businesses that operate in and around the area are concerned. Eyewitness accounts of the goings on liken Police St to scenes of 1980’s 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: “The figures have been blown out of proportion. The store has seen a tiny amount of unruly behaviour but to cease a police presence in the area, we see it as 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 frontline. 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 stores 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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Chris Hewitt’s indie-published children’s book Saving Christmas is available to buy in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide

www.amazon.co.uk/Saving-Christmas-Chris-Hewitt/dp/1539101479

Also available on iBooksKobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Smashwords.com

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Manchester’s Fight Against Sinkholes Calls For Pricks

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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 the damage is done.

Sinkholes.

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

The Council’s Highways Infrastructure and Transport (HIT) spokeswoman Sheila Scrumpoke, addressed the nature of 90% of calls the HIT sinkhole hotline had received: “Coronation Street is not in danger. We anticipated this kind of 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 nearly fifteen years. The doctor himself has a personal connection since his grandmother was swallowed by one in 2003.

“A sinkhole is created when the air that has been supporting the ground above suddenly expels,” he said. “It’s called geoflatulence. This causes whatever sits above; in Manchester’s case it appears 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 take action.

“The process we use is called Pricking,” he explained. “We insert a steel rod into the identified area which allows the air to escape. At the same time, another steel rod pumps a solidifying solution, not unlike 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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Chris Hewitt’s indie-published children’s book Saving Christmas is available to buy in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide

www.amazon.co.uk/Saving-Christmas-Chris-Hewitt/dp/1539101479

Also available on iBooksKobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Smashwords.com