Victims of a crime wave in Rochdale believe police are dragging their feet in cracking down on crime and missing opportunities to gather key pieces of evidence.
Fed-up residents in the Deeplish area say they have offered cops CCTV footage of suspects who are repeatedly targeting vehicles and homes and have highlighted obvious fingerprints, only for them to have been washed away by rain before police could get to them.
Shazad Khan, 39, who lives on King Street, has had his BMW car stolen. The contents of his wife’s car, also a BMW, including a precious Muslim prayer from her father, were also stolen.
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Video from CCTV cameras posted by Shazad and other residents from the area on the Rochdale Name & Shame Facebook page suggest the offenders are running amok, but the police are showing ‘little interest’ in tracking the alleged offenders down, the father-of-one said.
“The CCTV footage shows that it’s the same person wearing the same clothing walking along Tweedale Street,” said Shazad, an NHS admin worker.
“He is suspected of carrying out crime after crime.
“In my wife’s case, there were clear fingerprints left by the perpetrator, but they were washed away before the police came the following day.
“My sister, who lives near us, has also had her car stolen.
“All of us want to know what the police are doing. There are victims of crime around here every day.
“We don’t know what else to do, but we need our voices to be heard.”
One of the videos shows a man walking past a Royal Mail van who is suspected of having stolen at least four vehicles in the Deeplish area.
One woman has been driven out of Rochdale as a result of the crime.
Ann Leach returned from her new home in Dorset to visit her daughter, who lives in a rented house on Crown Street, only to have £2,300 worth of jewellery stolen.
Video has also been posted on Rochdale Name & Shame.
A man appears to rummage through Ann Leach’s car
“I’m not being snobbish, but I’ve owned two beautiful homes in Rochdale,” she said. “But I’m glad I’m not living in Rochdale now.
“The thieves took everything I had in my car – CDs, jewellery, the lot. “They went through my boot. I’ve been in touch with the police but they’ve done nothing, even though there is CCTV footage of them carrying out the crime on Rochdale Name & Shame.
“This is affecting people’s lives. After visiting my daughter, I couldn’t wait to leave Rochdale. There’s so much crime there and nothing seems to be getting done about it. These are decent working-class people who are looking after what they’ve bought with hard-earned money. They deserve so much better.”
Scores of other people have also posted messages warning neighbours in the area of a man wearing glasses and a hoody suspected of stealing cars and going door-to-door trying to get into houses.
Fed-up residents in the Deeplish area say they homes and vehicles are being repeatedly targeted
What the police say
Police in the area said neighbourhood teams are conducting ‘problem-solving activity’, but acknowledged the ‘frustrations’ of residents.
Superintendent Niall Hayden-Pawson, of GMP’s Rochdale’s district, said: “We are aware of a number of incidents in the Deeplish area of Rochdale, which have subsequently led to increased concern amongst residents.
“Proactive policing work remains part of our daily business, and local neighbourhood policing teams continue to conduct problem-solving activity to target ongoing issues identified across the Rochdale borough.
“However, we acknowledge and fully understand the frustrations of residents in the area, and the impact falling victim to any type of crime can have. These crimes will be reinvestigated, and I would like to reassure local communities we will do our utmost to improve our service, as part of the Forcewide improvements taking place to create a better GMP for everyone in Greater Manchester.
“It is clear we have work to do to regain the confidence of the community”
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“It’s clear that we have work to do to regain the confidence of the community, and I want to take this opportunity to assure residents that GMP is committed to tackling the issues that have been raised and will work hard to deliver the quality service rightly expected of us. Over the coming weeks, our neighbourhood team will engage with local residents and listen to their concerns.
“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of crime or has been a witness, to report it at the earliest opportunity so that any incidents can be investigated fully.”
Anyone who witnesses an incident or needs to report a crime can contact police online via their LiveChat function or reporting facility at gmp.police.uk.
You can also call 101. Alternatively, you can make reports anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.