MOSSLEY RESIDENTS woke up one Friday morning last month to find themselves in the middle of a major police incident.
And some unsuspecting locals were caught up in the multi agency operation more than they wanted to be.
Social media was alive with rumour and conjecture as dozens of police cars, patrol vans, traffic cars and high powered bikes converged on top Mossley from all areas of Greater Manchester.
Happily, their presence wasn’t needed for a terrorist incident or murder investigation.
But they were there to swamp the Waterton Lane estate as part of a crackdown on offending, anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity.
They were supported by specialist staff from the Gas and Electricity companies, New Charter employees, Tameside Council officials and local politicians.
Mossley Correspondent editor, Trevor Baxter, was invited along as an observer and went out on patrol with local PCSOs Wayne Gordon and Karl Lisic.
The ‘sting’ took months of planning and was co-ordinated by Mossley neighbourhood beat officer, PC Martin Dench.
“We are aware that a few individuals and a few families cause problems on the estate for the rest who are perfectly law abiding and responsible,” said PC Dench.
“We just want to send out the message that their actions won’t be tolerated and we won’t let them bring down the estate for everyone else.”
A number of search warrants had already been executed when we arrived at Waterton Lane adjacent to a mobile police information van.
Armed with prior information utilities companies staff, backed up with police support, checked a number of properties where tenants were suspected of interfering unlawfully with their meters.
Curtains twitched and dogs barked as more officers arrived outside the New Charer run properties.
Some residents were more accommodating than others but the checks passed off without incident and in the majority of cases without any wrong doing.
A parked car alerted PCSO Lisic to possible offences while another vehicle was discovered to be untaxed.
Traffic officers also patrolled close to the entrance of Waterton Lane, checking vehicles as they travelled in and out of the area.
There were lighter moments as Green Charter workers litter-picked through the streets. A large pink bra, children’s toys and discarded tyre were among items dumped in grass verges.
Emma Wilson, New Charter’s Executive Director of Neighbourhoods said: “The event brought partners together to help improve the area and provide a range of services to residents right on their doorsteps.
“It was a great success and we’ll be continuing to support tenants with a weekly drop-in at 254 Waterton Lane on Wednesdays from 10am to 12 noon.”
Neighbourhood Co-ordnator, Lynne Lavis, will be overseeing the drop-in sessions and can be reached on 0161 331 2000.
The blitz on Waterton Lane was part of on-going operation in Mossley to make neighbourhoods safer, tidier and incident free.
A number of surgeries have been arranged, taking place at the homeless unit at the back end of the estate.
They will be held between 10am and 12.30pm on Wednesday, May 31, Wednesday, June 28, Wednesday, July 26 and Wednesday, August 23.
PC Dench and PCSO’s Lisic and Gordon can be contacted on 0161 856 9350.