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Plans to demolish 'Counterfeit Street' are "Media Hyperbole" says Manchester Cop

Last week reports emerged that Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council had plans to demolish the so-called 'Counterfeit Street' on Bury New Road.

Our undercover photographer's pictures show fake trainers and clothes for sale

The notorious stretch is iconic to many Mancunians for the shops selling fake designer gear behind the metal shutters facing HMP Manchester - Strangeways Prison.

But Greater Manchester Police have been monitoring the road after increasing reports of criminal activity alongside selling counterfeit goods leading Chief Constable Stephen Watson to announce plans were being drawn up to order compulsory purchases and flatten the shops.

Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood, who is in charge of 'Operation Vulcan', explains it isn't just the selling of counterfeit goods that is the issue: "These counterfeit goods are just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the shutters of these stores are hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit clothes, medication, vapes, perfumes, and drugs, all contributing to serious organised crime and money laundering in Manchester."

Image: Shock Radio Undercover Photographer

However, this morning, Watson appeared on BBC Radio Manchester and said that the discussion of 'bulldozing' counterfeit street was "media hyperbole."

He did, however, later explain that the buildings split into sub-shops, some of which have up to 5 shops in them, are "physically unsafe" and would be "the fire service would simply condemn them because they are fire traps" "in those circumstances that I do want the property to be compulsorily purchased."

Watson also said to BBC Radio Manchester that while there was no fixed end date for Operation Vulcan, his officers were involved in this for "the long haul."

Image: Shock Radio Undercover Photographer

This latest update comes just 5 days after Greater Manchester Police were called to a burglary in the Cheetham Hill and Strangeways area where they recovered over 20 tonnes of counterfeit clothes, a van being used for the burglary, and a machete and axe inside the vehicle.

There are currently 33 organised crime groups linked to Strangeways & Cheetham Hill. They are linked to money laundering, firearms, drugs, modern-day slavery, and illegal immigration. Watson labeled the road as a 'disgrace' and said Operation Vulcan will help bring crime down for legitimate businesses on Bury New Road.

Not everyone has been supportive of the force's work on social media though...


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