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Three weekends, three deaths
We look at knife crime numbers in GM, plus the rest of your weekly briefing
Dear Millers — welcome to this week’s briefing. We’ve got a report about knife crime in GM, a beautiful Victoria Park house for sale, and a compelling long read about an anti-vaxxer in Liverpool who changed his mind.
On Saturday, we published Jack Dulhanty’s months-long investigation into Mana, Manchester’s only Michelin star restaurant. We’ve been blown away by the response — there have been hundreds of shares from journalists from the UK and US.
One industry newsletter called it “one of the bravest pieces of food journalism we've read in a long time." If any industry insiders are reading and want to tell us what they’ve been hearing since the piece dropped, email: email@example.com.
Coming up in part two, which we are sending to Mill members this week:
Colleagues at Noma explain why Martin left.
The industry reacts to our story.
A moving report from an inquest into the death of a high-flying student at the University of Manchester.
A quick chat with the Dutch newspaper correspondent who has chosen to base himself in Manchester rather than London.
And a great report from New Smithfield Market, where Jack saw volunteers preparing packages for asylum seekers.
Join The Mill as a member now for £7 a month to read those stories and get all our members-only journalism in your inbox.
This week’s weather 🌦
Our weather forecast comes from local weatherman Martin Miles, who says: “After the wet and wild weekend just gone, our weather will be calmer this week. Early week will be mild, damp and cloudy. High pressure will arrive by Friday to bring a colder and sunnier end to the week.”
Tuesday ☁️ Mild air will be in place, but it will be cloudy with patchy light rain and drizzle locally. High 13°c.
Wednesday 🌦 Colder air will filter in and again there will be patchy light rain and drizzle, especially AM. Drier and brighter later. High 8°c.
Thursday 🌦 A bright and breezy day. There will be plenty of sunny spells, but also a few blustery showers. High 7°c.
Friday 🌤 As high pressure builds, Friday should be a dry day with plenty of winter sunshine. High 6°C.
Weekend 🌤 Turning less settled after a bright Saturday as the jet stream returns to drive low pressure towards the UK. Potentially stormy next week.
For the full forecast visit Manchester Weather on Facebook, which posts forecasts daily at 6.15am
Knife crime to be GMP’s ‘top priority’
Top line: Someone has died as a result of knife crime in Greater Manchester every weekend for the past three weeks. All were either young adults or teenagers.
Cases: The three victims were Kennie Carter, a sixteen-year-old killed in Stretford; Alan Szelugowski, a 17-year-old killed in Salford; and Dylan Keelan, a 20-year-old killed in Dukinfield.
Context: Let’s take a look at the numbers. In our report into homicide rates last year, we found:
Cases of homicide in 2020/21 were down in Greater Manchester, at 51 in the year ending March 2021, though that is 60% above the national average.
An outsized number of those — 19 in total — were recorded in the city of Manchester.
Knife crime: Rates of knife crime in GM, according to the MEN, saw a 4% rise in 2020/21 — it’s not a huge increase, and there isn’t currently enough data to know whether this is a sustained rise.
GMP: Stop and search powers have been extended in what GMP is describing as "hotspots" for knife crime, meaning police will be able to search people in those areas without reasonable grounds to do so.
Last week, Assistant Chief Constable Tony Creely told reporters he wanted to make knife crime GMP's “top priority,” after the murder of Alan Szelugowski in Clowes Park, Salford.
Bottom line: Knife crime amongst young people in GM is now a widespread issue. Indeed, the MEN has reported on a knife crime involving a teenager every week for the past 12 months. Akemia Minott, managing director of 84Youth, a youth-led organisation tackling youth violence in Manchester, told The Mill:
Knife crime is across Manchester now, the focus was on south central, but people are understanding it’s not a Moss Side thing anymore. Nothing is going to change until we improve people's living conditions.
🕵️♂️ Grist to The Mill: If you want to tell us about a story or pass on some information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to speak to people off the record in the first instance, and we will treat your information with confidence and sensitivity. Get in touch.
Home of the week
This fabulous 5-bed house in Victoria Park is filled with historic features but has plenty of scope for an interior uplift. It’s on the market for £400,000.
🎧 Listen to the Manchester Weekly
Other local news in brief
Boris backs Bolton: The Prime Minister promised to back Bolton’s levelling up bids when speaking to journalists from The Bolton News in their offices last week. More here.
Heavy rainfall: The River Mersey burst its banks due to heavy rainfall over the weekend, with flood warnings in place for parts of south Manchester. Some streets in Bolton have also been left underwater. More here.
Beaming success: Proton beam therapy successfully treated a four-year-old’s rare brain tumour. Teddy first underwent proton beam therapy at The Christie when he was 18-months old. More here.
Journalist death: A pre-inquest review heard that a journalist from Granada Reports suffered abuse in the lead-up to her sudden death. It was established the abuse was reported to the police. More here.
Covid-19 update: Rates of Covid-19 continue to fall across GM. The case rate for Greater Manchester is 594.1, down 28.1%, compared to England’s 908.4, down 17.4%. Rates are highest in Stockport, around 800, and lowest in Oldham, around 500. The latest hospitalisation data shows a decrease in bed occupancy across intensive care and regular wards. On vaccines, 56% of GM’s adults have now had the booster. There are, on average, nine Covid deaths a day in Greater Manchester.
Our to do list
🖼 Exhibition | “Literature in the Mines” is a guest exhibition showcasing mineworkers’ culture at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. Open every Friday. Info here.
🍟 Eat | Visit pop-up art event at the Hip Hop Chip Shop in Ancoats tomorrow. Get your portrait drawn by a local artist and treat yourself to some great food. Info here.
🚶♀️ Walk | On Wednesday, Freshwalks is organising a lovely riverside walk for women in Marple. Book here.
🖼 Exhibition | Gallery Oldham is exhibiting short films and archival war materials for “Legacies of Biafra”. It’s by art group Nigeria Art Society UK. Info here.
😂 Comedy | The Laughięnda Comedy Club runs every Thursday, and you’ll be treated to fresh comedy talent from newbies, as well as seasoned pros. Book here.
♥ Valentine’s | On Friday, take a loved one for dinner and enjoy a ten-course menu of seasonal vegan food in the city centre. Book here.
📺 Watch | ITV’s hit crime drama The Bay returns to our screens for its third series. Moston-born actress Marsha Thomson joins the cast as DS Jenn Townsend. You can watch all episodes here.
Our favourite reads
Dubbed Boris Johnson’s “brain”, Oldham-born Munira Mirza’s resignation seemed to send the message that the prime minister’s time is coming to an end. Mirza, who’s a known Miller, is said to be extremely bright and yet wears her intellect lightly. “Many have wondered what Mirza believes in. ‘She has no interest in party politics,’ an old friend said. ‘She’s a proper libertarian. It probably comes from her saying, ‘I don’t want to be one of the girls I grew up with’”.
Who gets to be British in 2022? — New York Times
This is a compelling piece that explores the issue of British Asian identity. One writer recalls a visit back to Manchester. “In December, I visited my old primary school in inner-city Manchester. The school is 60 percent Pakistani and serves an economically disadvantaged community, so the headteacher asked me to speak at its ‘Aspiration Day.’”
Tower of Light, Manchester review — The Observer
We liked this Observer review of a Manchester landmark, which is by London architecture practice’s Tonkin Liu’s. They created a flue for a sustainable power system. “So the steel skin of the tower is stiffened with corrugations and undulations like those of a sea shell. Its structure, like a glass sponge, is a lattice, which efficiently resists both horizontal and vertical loads.”
Our sister newsletter in Liverpool, The Post, published an excellent piece at the weekend about one of Merseyside’s most active anti-vax organisers — and how that all changed for him. “If Lewis were to blame anyone at all for his belief in conspiracy theories, it might be the actor Will Smith. He starred in Enemy of the State, a 90s thriller that’s got rooftop chases, murders and a deep state plan going all the way to the top.”