A man from Sale who had possession of a converted gun in Harpurhey and was chased by officers on patrol nearby has been jailed for five years.

Mohammed Shabaz Rafiq (14/06/1997), of Wharf Road, Sale, was chased down by officers and found to have discarded a converted gun which officers, who were at the time on patrol in Harpurhey, Manchester, heard shots being fired from just metres away from where they were driving.

Just after 5.30pm on Wednesday 24 March 2021, three officers – PC Jack Ginger, PC Richard Hayes and PC Jessica Hamblet – were on patrol and became suspicious about a number of people loitering around Ashgill Walk and turned the vehicle around onto Moss Brook Road to investigate when they heard a loud bang, believed to be a firearm discharging.

Seconds later, they spotted Rafiq running from the road and noticed he was carrying a black bin liner. They identified themselves as police officers before he ran off onto Whiteway Street and made a failed attempt to get into a Ford Focus which drove over the pavement to avoid officers.

Urgently trying to locate Rafiq and the suspected firearm,one of the officers managed to track him down and soon after he was detained, Police found the discarded bin bag which contained the converted firearm.

Rafiq was today (15 July 2021) jailed for five years at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm.

Detective Constable Liam Carolan, from North Manchester’s Disruption Team, said: “This is another fantastic result for the people of Greater Manchester where we’ve removed a firearm from the streets and found those responsible

.”The quick-thinking and bravery of the three officers at the scene could have arguably saved a life that day. They are a credit to GMP and the people of North Manchester and have helped to ensure we’ve taken another criminal involved in firearms off the streets who so desperately tried to get away.”

GMP is absolutely committed to making Greater Manchester a safer place to work and live and there is continuous work going on to tackle gun crime which is one of our priorities.

“In the space of a year, we’ve taken over 100 firearms off the streets of Greater Manchester and have teams of detectives striving to bring those involved in such crime to justice every day.”