Trouble is returning to a ‘lawless’ British street that taxi drivers were once too scared to visit, a resident has claimed.
The gangs used to ‘riot’ in Manchester’s Cicero Street, with youths throwing rocks at passing delivery drivers and cars.
Shocking footage from a Just Eat rider’s helmet camera showed the moment a group of youngsters snatched his bike and his phone.
Someone even had their leg “cut off” in the neighborhood, a resident told Manchester Evening News.
Although some locals insist behavior has improved in recent years, resident Doris Isoken, 48, says she still feels unsafe.
She added: “I’m scared. Kids gather, they almost broke my car window. They wouldn’t let me pass, they blocked the road and when I tried to pass they said no.
“They poured cash on my car, I had to lock the doors. They always put their bikes on the road. It happened last month. It’s not good for the other kids, they might learn lessons from.
“Before they stopped and now it’s coming back. The problems were really big and now it’s coming back.”
Anti-social behavior was rampant on Cicero Street in 2018 when a takeaway delivery man was assaulted in broad daylight. The shocking incident was captured on the worker’s helmet video camera.
The victim could be heard screaming for help as the youths punched and kicked him from behind before stealing his phone and bike. The vicious attack was just part of a wave of violence and vandalism that plagued the area at the time.
A current resident, who did not wish to be named, says there is still a high level of crime and anti-social behavior on the street.
“Someone had their leg cut off here a few years ago,” says the 18-year-old. “Two days ago a kid was fighting with a grown woman, they were on the hood of a car.
“It’s pretty quiet now; it’s not nearly as bad as before. Before, it was crazy. I lived here for about six years. Obviously the neighborhood sucks, but that’s what it is.
Hashmat Mohmmadzai, owner of corner store Zak’s Local on Cicero Street, only took over the store six months ago. He says the business has changed hands several times in a short time due to issues with the region.
“There are problems all the time, like people breaking into cars at night. It happens a lot – and people breaking into houses. They are mostly children and teenagers,” a- he told the Manchester Evening News.
“We don’t really have any problems in the store, I’m trying to keep it under control.
“I’ve been here for six months and a lot of shop owners have changed in a short time because of trouble – kids stealing things and annoying them. Threatening them financially or personally.
“I don’t let them go over their limit. It stresses me out – it’s very stressful. There are things happening outside the store and I’m afraid of being held responsible for them. They’re buying something from here , then go out and create problems.”
Resident Aaron, 29, moved to Cicero Street in August 2019. He felt anxious about moving to the area after reading stories online, but has had no issues since arriving in the street.
Manchester Evening News)
“I know the previous year was bad,” he added. “After we moved here I had no problems, I got to know a few people on this road. There are families and a few elderly people.
“All the people who were terrorizing the streets have either moved out or been pushed aside. Nobody seems to be causing any trouble here anymore. I’m happy because I have kids.”
Taxi drivers previously told the Manchester Evening News they fear parts of north Manchester have become “lawless”, naming Cicero Street as one of four roads in Moston which are “particularly bad”.
Some drivers had rocks thrown at their cars and doors kicked in. Other weary shopkeepers believed the behavior scared off customers and forced employees to quit their jobs.
But resident Brian Haughton, who has lived on Cicero Street for more than 14 years, says the neighborhood is now a “friendly” place to live. “It’s quiet here now because they’re all done for this,” the 65-year-old added.
“It’s good. I’ve lived here for 14 years and I haven’t had any problems. You have a child here after school, but it’s a friendly place, I know a lot of people.
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Another resident, who did not wish to give his name, also believes that life on the streets has changed radically.
“Since September of last year, that has changed,” he says.
“This area used to be very dangerous. It’s very quiet, as you can see for yourself.”
But on nearby Moston Lane, some shop owners and staff still experience high crime rates today.
A worker, who did not wish to give his name, told the MEN: “I was stabbed around the corner from my house a few years ago and a few weeks ago there was a car chase just across the road.
“We were supposed to have a sign on the door saying no knives, we shouldn’t have to but we do and that’s the sad truth.”
Alex Rostas, who owns a convenience store, says he is afraid to leave his home for fear of being assaulted. “We don’t have CCTV cameras and a lot of people come and damage the cars.
“They come here and steal stuff,” the 41-year-old added.
“You are afraid to go out in case someone hits you.”
Councilor Pat Karney, cllr of Harpurhey in the City of Manchester, believes Cicero Street and surrounding areas could benefit from a residents’ association.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “There are still very big problems but the area has a strong sense of community. We believe that a local residents’ association would be a real asset. We’ll see if we can create one. »