A highly ranked police officers report on crime in Manchester stated that for thirty years, the quality street gang (or QSG as it became commonly known), were responsible for some of the most well known and notorious major crime incidents in the city’s history. To some the QSG were involved in crimes ranging from well executed robberies through to major drug smuggling, however some detectives also believed that the gang never existed as a organised entity, they also say that due to the ‘loosely’ organised criminal records and similar documents, that it is hard to seperarte fact from myth on the crimes associated with the QSG (however this was later thought to be some kind of a conspiracy).
The core of the gang was found in the 60s, it contained men that were from hard-living backgrounds, involved in honest livings throughout their lifetime. The QSG were the ‘faces’ throughout the city of Manchester from the 1960s to the 80s partly because of their involvement with many popular pubs and clubs in the city. Some gang members would later come to own many clubs and pubs between them. At the start of the 1970s police would set up surveillance on the QSG which would go on for the next ten years, ending with little success with contacts now from the middle east they expanded their criminal empire further, getting more involved in the importation of many types of drugs they also stepped up a notch with their involvement in armed robbery. The QSG soon had their own shipping facilities available as they expanded further setting up deals in regions as far as Africa. The police were becoming increasingly worried about how deep the QSG involvement actually went, police had reason to believed that they were beginning to become associated with the IRA.
They were rumoured to have a contract exceeding £50,000 on the lives of two relatively popular criminals Lenny Pilot and Fred Scott. Both Pilot and Scott received 10 years each in 1983 for a series of armed robberies. However in 1984 Pilot and Scott both turned ‘supergrass’ informing the police of any information they had on upcoming robberies and similar types of criminal activity in the area. Both Pilot and Scott proved to be a ‘reliable’ source for the police, as the leading sergeant that Pilot and Scott ‘coughed’ to, launched operation Belgium (because the sergeant was of a Belgian decent). They set up surveillance units, and planned to go in after new year in (the idea was that the criminals under surveillance would have calmed down by then and it would be more surprising). So early January 1984, 150 detectives raided 10 homes across the region. The operation proved to be very successful, ‘’one of the most successful in the region’’ explained the leading sergeant. Many of the inner core of the gang were in prison from sentences with the longest being 14 years.
There was no information why the QSG suddenly disappeared out of the news papers, although members pop up from time to time in the media., nothing much is reported anymore on the gang and hasn’t been for a number of years.
But the QSG have their place in Manchester’s history books and receive respect even from the modern day gangs, such as the gooch (much younger predominantly black gang).