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Car park fund-raiser

UK charity Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, and Macmillan, a cancer support charity, are using car parks around the Old Trafford and Salford Quays areas on match days to raise funds.

The car parks were shut last year by police in two operations to put a stop to organised crime groups – Project Gulf and Operation Bank.
Police found car parks were being run illegally. The criminals had not asked permission from the landowners, or had intimidated them into letting them use the land. By April 2012, police had closed nine car parks and made more than 20 arrests. Police estimate that criminals were making around £4,000 per game and suspect this was be used to fund further crime.

Seven car parks are now being used by Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention and Macmillan, with cars being charged between £5 and £10 to park. G4S provides security for the scheme; all profits go to the charities. G4S Managing Director for events, Eric Alexander said: “G4S is proud to be part of this initiative which will stop criminals profiteering from football fans with the added benefit of raising money for a fantastic cause. Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, G4S will be securing supporters cars during matches and deterring criminals from returning to these sites after they’ve been removed.”

Chief Supt Kevin Mulligan, Divisional Commander of the Salford Division of Greater Manchester Police said: “Running an illegal car park helps criminals fund their lifestyle at the expense of our communities and the offenders probably thought they could get away with it.

“As part of Project Gulf, we aim to investigate every aspect of a criminal’s life and the closure of these car parks shows just how serious we are about this. As well as bringing these offenders to justice and disrupting them from their criminal activity, I’m delighted that we have been able to help raise funds for two very worthy charities.”

Deputy City Mayor, Councillor David Lancaster, congratulated everyone involved in the clampdown. He said: “Raising money for charity and providing parking for events is a far better use of the land. This sends a clear message that Project Gulf will not stand by and allow Salford criminals to operate where they like and cheat the public to line their pockets.”

Chief Superintendent Jim Liggett, Divisional Commander for the Trafford Division of Greater Manchester Police said: “Taking organised criminals off the streets is one of our top priorities and although closing down illegal car parks may seem like low level crime, the money raised is often used to fund much more serious crime. I’m sure football fans will feel much happier knowing that their money is going to a good cause rather than supporting criminality.”

Pam Glass, trustee of Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, said: “We’re hugely grateful to Greater Manchester Police for involving us in this fantastic initiative. This project will not only reduce crime, but also help raise awareness and funds for the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. Currently one in 10 women will suffer from the disease – our aim at Genesis is to make one in 10, none in 10.”

Rebecca Bishop, Area Manager for Macmillan said: “The collaboration with Greater Manchester Police has allowed us to pursue a new and innovative fundraising venture which will ensure people do not face cancer alone. Macmillan Cancer Support has committed £2.3m into the development of new services in Manchester in 2013, but to be able to reach and improve the lives of everybody affected by cancer we need to raise more money. We thank everybody who has used the car park since its launch in October and look forward to welcoming more football fans – home and away supporters. This is a great way of being able to change the lives of people affected by cancer and reducing crime in the city.”


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