Three Gambians street dealers who peddled cannabis in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, United Kingdom have been locked up. The men were caught and hauled before a judge as part of Operation Mandera, a long-running police campaign to clean up Manchester city centre. Officers spent the last 18 months targeting Piccadilly Gardens and surrounding streets to rid the plaza of drugs and booze-related disorder. All the three Gambians, from Salford, north Manchester and Tameside were sentenced at Manchester Crown court on Monday 6th September 2014.
Saloum Jeng, 39, of Broadbent Avenue, Dukinfield, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to nine counts of supplying drugs and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Baboucarr Njie, 33, of Norton Street, Broughton, admitted possession with intent to supply drugs and was sentenced to 12 months.
Ousman Jammeh, 37, of Hilton Street North, Salford, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession with intent to supply drugs and was sentenced to eight months.
As part of the operation, officers also worked with partners on longer-term ways to tackle crime in the area, including environmental improvements. Earlier this year the Manchester Evening News launched a campaign to clean up and transform Piccadilly Gardens. As a result the council agreed to improve street lighting around the Plaza following complaints that visitors and commuters feel unsafe after dark. Inspector Phil Spurgeon, the city centre lead for neighbourhood policing in Piccadilly Gardens, said: “The city centre neighbourhood policing team have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to tackle anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in and around Piccadilly Gardens”.
“These sentences underline our commitment to tackle the long-standing issue of street drug dealing in the Piccadilly Gardens. We particularly welcome the issuing of CRASBOs, as well as custodial sentences, which should give the affected community some respite”, he further added.
“I would like to thank the people of Manchester who continue to provide us with information in order to help in our fight against drug dealing. We remain committed to rooting this problem out and today’s result should serve as a warning to those who continue to deal drugs on our streets”, concluded Inspector Spurgeon.