Inside the brutal blowtorch-armed street gangs running riot in ‘Gunchester’

Police have warned shootings, stabbings and violent kidnaps are becoming common place in Manchester, with a new "Gunchester" generation behind a wave of crime in the city.

Gangs have been present in Manchester since the 1980s, Detective Sgt Julie Connor said, but disturbing statistics show violence is on the rise, reports the Mirror.

DS Connor said people are being "shot in the legs, stabbed" and having their "faces cut," with attacks also becoming more brazen and occurring in public spaces.

The spate of crime is fuelled by drug activity, she says, claiming there is "a lot of money floating around" so "criminals are robbing other criminals."

Speaking ahead of a new BBC series, The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime, DS Connor said: "The gangs have roots from gangs around in the 1980s and 1990s.

"We are seeing an increase in violence, people being shot in the legs, stabbed, their faces cut.

"With the rise in drugs there is a lot of money floating around in the criminal world so there is an increase in criminals robbing other criminals."

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DS Connor said crime is especially heinous towards women and added that rape is often used as a punishment.

She said: "If a girl disrespects a criminal male they will have their head shaved.

"Rape is used as a punishment."

In other cases, people have been kidnapped and tortured for almost a day, with his ears blowtorched and knees "ironed."

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A second victim was found in a street with cable-tie around his neck, his feet bleeding and his eye sockets swollen from being pistol whipped.

The first episode of the new crime series, which followed police in Manchester for over two years, focuses on two November 2018 kidnappings.

One man was snatched in front of his children and taken to a house where he was tortured until he agreed to hand over £34,000.

Weeks later, a second man was found bleed-ing on a street, his face so swollen that his eyes looked like they had disappeared after being battered.

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Weeks later, a second man was found bleed-ing on a street, his face so swollen that his eyes looked like they had disappeared after being battered.

Greater Manchester Police managed to collect evidence against Paris Bostock and connect him to the first kidnap.

Bostock, the stepson of gangster Darren Berkeley, then 26, received a nine-year sentence for false imprisonment and blackmail.

Berkeley, 43, received 12 years for blackmail, while gang member Blake Evers, then 24, got 19 years for GBH, possession of a firearm, blackmail and kidnap.

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Manchester earned its name Gunchester in the 1980s and 1990s but violence came to a head when Benji Stanley, 14, was shot dead at a takeaway.

The case made national headlines and by the late 2000s, gang-related gun crime had fallen thanks to successful police operations.

DS Connor explained the mobs never went away and, as the attention shifted from them, they expanded.

She said: “A lot of the lads in the 1990s grew up and got into international drug dealing, people trafficking.

“A lot invested criminal money into businesses and had become semi-legitimate and harder to touch."

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