A Manchester councillor is warning people of the dangers of abandoned buildings following a fire in a derelict shop in Levenshulme last week.
Fire engines were called to a property on Slade Lane on Friday March 29 to deal with what appeared to be a deliberately-started blaze.
The property had been labelled by Liberal Democrat Councillor for Levenshulme, James Hennigan, as an ‘accident waiting to happen’.
Cllr Hennigan explained how the property had a history of anti-social behaviour, including squatting and drug abuse, and spoke of his anger at the council’s failure to deal with an the issue.
“This building had been reported as an accident waiting to happen months ago."
"I had urged the council to secure the abandoned building which was extremely dangerous,” he added.
Lib Dem campaigner and local resident John Commons echoed the calls for action to be taken before the situation develops.
He said: “Abandoned buildings are a blight on our area.
"They bring down the area as well as attracting anti-social behaviour. The council simply need to do more.”
Manchester has experienced problems with squatting in the recent past. MM reported the illegal occupation of a pub on Chester Road, Hulme, in April last year.
The occupiers at the time admitted that anti-social behaviour and drug abuse was prominent in the building.
The Hope Inn, owned by Lau Yuk, 52, had been at the centre of plans to re-develop the pub before the group seized control through an already broken window.
As squatting is a civil issue, the Police cannot take action to remove squatters and as such a Court Order is needed to force the evacuation of an illegally-occupied building.
Cllr Hennigan drew attention to another derelict building in Levenshulme that he fears may become a magnate for anti-social behaviour.
The disused Atlas Engineering Works on Stanhope Road was once at the hub of Manchester’s machine tool manufacturing industry but now it sits vacant and vulnerable to crime.
CRIME HOTSPOT: Cllr Hennigan says adandoned buildings attract anti-social behavior
This was one of a number of disused buildings in the area and Cllr Hennigan appealed for the council to do more to tackle the issue.
He said: "I think the council need to do more and act quicker to secure abandoned buildings in south Manchester.
"Abandoned buildings are a hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour and really bring the area down."