Vigilante anti-crime group patrols streets led by Dale Cregans getaway driver

A controversial anti-crime group manned by residents and headed by an ex-con is set to take to the streets despite the objections of some locals and politicians.

The group of volunteers is set to hit the streets of Chadderton and Werneth, in Oldham, Greater Manchester in the near future to try and stop the rising burglaries and thefts from cars that have been seen in the area.

They will be headed by Mohammed Imran Ali – also known as Irish Imy – who was jailed for seven years for driving convicted cop killer Dale Cregan to a safe house in Leeds after the gangster murdered one of his rivals in 2012.

Whilst on the run for this offence, Cregan killed PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, using the same gun-and-grenade method before handing himself in.

Mr Ali was jailed for seven years for his part in the crime in 2013, before being recalled to prison for a breach of his license in 2018.

Both Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have shared concerns about the upcoming patrols, but Mr Ali confirmed to the Manchester Evening News that he intends to start his rounds in the near future regardless.

When asked what he thought of people’s reactions to his proposals he said: "We will be starting very soon.

"As to the reaction of people, I think that is more people manipulating what it is to fit their own narrative or agenda."

Robert Barnes, a community campaigner in Chadderton, wrote to Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police to express his concern at the plans.

In a publicly shared letter, he asked whether Mr Ali's proposals had been given the green tick by police before directing his queries at Carolyn Wilkins, chief executive of the council.

He wrote: "Do you, as Chief Executive, think it is acceptable for street patrols to be carried out by a convicted getaway driver and heroin dealer?

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"As far as I am concerned, residents have the right to be free from crime, but it should be down to the police to deal with this, not individuals with recent criminal convictions

"I have spoken with residents who are concerned about these developments. There is a proper way to tackle crime, this is not the way to deal with it."

Mr Barnes also referenced a similar group, known as Failsworth Street Patrol, who were warned by GMP that their actions risked "straying into vigilantism".

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When approached by the Manchester Evening News about Mr Ali's plans, GMP said they had spoken to the people involved, and had no evidence to suggest any group had been set up.

"While we always appreciate the community spirit of local residents who spend their free time assisting police to help their fellow neighbours in the area, it is important to remember that when these activities are not organised in conjunction with the police there is potential for those involved to risk their safety and that of others," they said in a statement.

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