Piccadilly Gardens is the fifth top crime hot spot in the UK
It’s the worst crime spot in Greater Manchester
The the central spot of Piccadilly Gardens is the fifth-worst crime spot in the whole of the country.
According to recently released data, 769 crimes were reported between January and September this year.
This makes the uninspiring gardens the worst crime spot across the whole of Greater Manchester.
Although authorities have attempted to crackdown on drunken violence and anti social behaviour, 264 incidents of rowdiness were reported.
There were also 131 thefts along with 101 violent and sexual offences.
Second on the Greater Manchester’s list of crime hot spots with 677 crimes reported so far in 2015 was the area surrounding Debenhams on Market Street, a route frequently used as a way into the Northern Quarter.
In third by quite a distance was the shopping haven of the Arndale Centre, which recorded 362 crimes, nearly half seconded spot. However, the majority of crimes recorded at Debenhams and the Arndale were related to retail theft.
Gay Village, with 284 crimes recorded so far in 2015, was also ranked in fifth for the whole of Greater Manchester.
Design third year Charlie explained how although the figure was high he was not overly surprised.
“There’s constantly shifty people hanging around the gardens, particularly by the tram lines and trams, sitting on the benches. I have seen a number of drug sales on the sly while I have also been offered them myself while walking from the bus to the shops.”
However, due to “shrinking resources” Greater Manchester Police have claimed this meant dedicated team could not be implicated.
City centre chief councillor Pat Karney explained that although they had turned a corner this year and made a lot progress there was still plenty of work to do.
“It’s difficult, especially with people selling drugs. As soon as one person is arrested, another person takes their place.
“We are really worried about theft there too. It can be very distressing for victims. We need the courts to hand down appropriate sentences to these people who commit these appalling crimes, to deter others.”
City centre inspector Phil Spurgeon explained that he believed Piccadilly Gardens tops the list simply because it is a prime location with thousands of users everyday.
“It is not surprising that Piccadilly Gardens features at the top of this list given its huge footfall and 24/7 activity in terms of transport, fast food, gambling and hotels.
“Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Piccadilly Gardens remains a priority for police and partners.
“Operation Mandera, which has been running since 2013, has made a significant impact on cannabis dealing in the area and the police pod remains in Piccadilly Gardens and is open between 8am and 8pm, offering a convenient contact point and reassurance for the community.
“We are also continuing to work with partners to look at what further environmental improvements, such as lighting and CCTV, would help tackle crime in the area.”