Armed police moved to Manchester shooting areas

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Media captionIan Hopkins has slammed the 'recklessness' of criminal gangs in Manchester

Armed police are to be moved to parts of Manchester where gang feud shootings have taken place, after a spate of attacks in the city.

There have been eight shootings in the north and south of Manchester since 22 December and police say six of those were "targeted" gang-related attacks.

On Tuesday, shots were fired at houses in Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Crumpsall.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said armed officers would be in vehicles and "not on foot with machine guns".

'Very concerned'

A GMP spokesman said: "Armed response vehicles will be moved to these areas.

"There will be a visible police presence in the areas affected by the recent shootings and armed response vehicles will also be on the streets as an extra precaution.

"These vehicles are always patrolling the streets of Manchester and there certainly won't be police officers on foot patrolling the streets with machine guns."

Image caption A shooting took place on Calderdale Avenue in Chorlton on Tuesday night

GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said 60 officers were investigating the shootings, but stressed the city was not returning to the days when it was dubbed 'Gunchester'.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, he said: "We are absolutely nowhere near the levels of gun crime in 2007-08 when we had 146 firearms discharges.

"That said, we are very very concerned about the number of firearms incidents we have seen."

'Reckless and dangerous'

Just under 50 firearms incidents have been recorded in the past 12 months.

Police are linking the incidents in Chorlton and Crumpsall to shootings on 26 December and New Year's Day on Lytham Road in Levenshulme.

A spokesman said: "This activity is both reckless and dangerous. On more than one occasion, innocent people have been caught up in the violence."

A 24-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a man shot on Salisbury Road, Moss Side, on 30 December.

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