Twenty eight buildings were served a Covid-19 Prohibition notices by Trading Standards in the Strangeways area preventing the retail unit from opening until lockdown restrictions have been lifted on non-essential shops reopening.

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.

A warning letter had previously been 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.

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”


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