Officers from GMP and partner agencies issue 28 prohibition notices
Greater Manchester Police, along with partner agencies, led in an approach to inform local businesses and counterfeit retailers of their responsibility to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Strangeways area on Thursday 4 June.
A number of partner agencies joined together to help during the day, including the GMP Neighbourhood team, the Transport Unit, Manchester City Council’s Trading Standards team, TM Eye, parking enforcement, Environmental Health and the Challenger team.
The aim was to engage and explain the Covid-19 restrictions and promote the two-metre social distancing guidelines that are imperative to follow in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Non-essential retail shops still need to work under the proviso of click and collect and customers are not allowed to enter the business premises. Cafes should also remain to offer food and drink as a takeaway option only.
Prior to the day a warning letter was issued to any premises that were continuing to allow customers to enter into a shop, as a reminder of the lockdown restrictions currently in place for retail premises.
On the day 28 buildings were served a Covid-19 Prohibition notice by Trading Standards. This notice prevents the retail unit from opening until lockdown restrictions have been lifted on non-essential shops reopening (15 June). If breached, the owner could face prosecution and an unlimited fine.
Superintendent Rebecca Boyce at Greater Manchester Police said: “Many businesses across Greater Manchester have been complying with government guidelines and legal requirements and we appreciate the ways in which people and business owners have adapted to these changes. However, there have been a small minority that have continued to remain open, which is risking the health of their staff and anyone that enters the premises.
“We understand the disruption these regulations have made to everyone’s lives, however they are in place to protect everyone and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The partner work of today is part of the Op Magpie approach, which aims to highlight intellectual property crime, counterfeiting and the associated crime and anti-social behaviour in the areas of Cheetham Hill and Strangeways.”
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of upheaval in our day to day lives, but, as a Council we were here today to reassure residents that concerns about crime and public safety will not be ignored.
“Criminals need to know that we will not tolerate their illegal behaviour and equally, we will not stand idle as landlords do nothing to prevent criminality on their literal doorstep. Residents of Manchester are reminded that non-essential retail businesses remain closed to access and that by visiting counterfeit traders in this area they are putting their health at risk as well as funding organised crime”