Allegations have been made that Rough sleepers in Manchester are being assaulted by security men working for NCP car parks across the City Centre.
Nick Buckley who is running as an Independent candidate in next month’s local elections as the candidate for the Homeless in the Deansgate ward has said that a number of incidents have come to light over the past couple of months.
They have included a NCP staff member assaulting a rough sleeper by slapping him across the face several times to wake him up and then punch him in the face while a second man trying to intervene confronted the NCP staff and both were dragged down the stairs and thrown out.
Another incident saw NCP staff intentionally drive their van at a rough sleeper and hit him resulting in damage to his hand and arm.
Other incidents have seen staff punching a rough sleeper in the ribs, having his crutches confiscated and then being assaulted with them.
The rough sleepers feel that these assaults are intentional and are part of a strategy to stop them from entering the car parks.
We asked NCP for a comment and their head of Operations in Manchester Sean Fenney said:
We take all allegations regarding our staff conduct extremely seriously. However we are frustrated by this situation as we are unable to properly investigate these cases on the basis of the lack of information provided.It is, therefore, extremely disappointing to read this report, which makes strong unsubstantiated accusations about our staff without providing the necessary information which would allow us to investigate.
Our local staff are often on the forefront of the increasing problems related to rough sleepers on the streets of Manchester and we work closely with a number of key agencies including Manchester city council, the Police, Cityco and other charities in the city to help address this. Our team are facing daily difficulties and physical threats and assaults when they try to carry out their jobs to ensure our car parks are safe working sites.
Commenting on the reports, Nick Buckley said that the response of NCP to the allegations was not good enough for a large national company, and left him feeling that any investigation would be a white wash.
He added that no one is stating that the allegations are true, what we want is a full impartial investigation:
” I may not be a City Centre Councillor yet, but when vulnerable individuals inform you that they are being assaulted it is everyone’s responsibility to act and protect the vulnerable. I do not know if these allegations are true, that is not my role. My role is to make sure the police and NCP know and investigate accordingly. Dismissing concerns because the complainant is complex is exactly what led to thousands of working class girls being abused over decades in full sight of authorities. This doesn’t happen on my watch!”