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"I don't know what I'm going to face each day": Staff member speaks out after increase in knife crime at Ashton bus station

A Bee Network inspector has spoken out on the recent upsurge in violence at Ashton bus station and shared the unsettling experiences he encounters during his day-to-day work.

Chris Liddle, who is currently working his fourth week in the role, was on duty on Monday, April 22, when two young victims were robbed by a group of five older males.

The victims were allegedly split up from one another, with two of the teens targeting one and three targeting the other. During searches carried out later in the evening, large knives were found on two of the offenders and a screwdriver on another.

"It's disgusting how anybody could do that," Chris said, adding that he'd "never seen kids so petrified".

He said the incident only lasted around 30-40 seconds before the balaclava-clad culprits took off and boarded the tram bound for Manchester city centre.

Chris said he chased the tram, trying to stop it, however was unsuccessful so made a note of the tram number and informed response officers of the whereabouts of the offenders.

This information was then passed onto specialist officers on the transport unit, who were able to trace the tram as the teens tried to flee and quickly detain them. One offender was found hiding in a bush by the attending police dog.

Chris said that he works alongside the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) team each night, with the primary focus of ensuring the buses run smoothly.

He continued: "My job isn't to chase down criminals but when you see vulnerable people getting robbed, of course you have to stop them. 

"It isn't your typical night in Ashton when you just want to be helping buses run. I don't know what I'm going to face each day, it's horrible to see this stuff. It's around 7/8pm until 10pm each evening, just a nightmare. I come straight home and give my daughter a cuddle."

Another incident occurred last night, April 25, which saw two young girls enter the bus station and push a teenager onto the floor.

An eyewitness described how the youngsters, aged no older than 11 or 12, kicked the boy in the face as he lay on the floor and then pulled out a seven-inch blade [pictured below] before being spooked by a member of the public. The pair reportedly fled the scene and threw the knife onto a grassy verge across the road.

GMP have been approached for a comment.

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