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Ice cream wars turn ugly in Eccles

Police are looking for an ice cream van driver after an argument over pitching space in Eccles spilled over into alleged threats and violence.

Officers were called to Eccles Recreational Ground, off Oxford Street, on Saturday 22 August to reports of three ice cream van drivers making threats to one another in front of parents and children.

Local police are now looking for the male driver of a van with a pink roof, with the registration plate R232 EFG.

One shocked eyewitness told SalfordOnline.com: “There was children and families on the field on Saturday as it was very warm.

“I was in my front garden and just saw an ice cream van racing onto the field with another one chasing him, they were going round in circles extremely fast.

ice cream wars

“They were very close to the children who had to move out of the way and a jogger was screaming at them, I think they just missed him.

“When the ice cream van which was being chased managed to get off the park I noticed the driver’s windows had been smashed. The other van carried on with the chase onto Liverpool Road.”

Officers are treating the incident as a suspected affray.

One of the drivers was treated for a minor injury at the scene. ice cream wars3

Ice cream vans have to have a permit – a street trading licence – from the council to sell goods, which at the moment costs £602.

To trade in specific parks, street traders need a separate licence which is generally issued on a contract basis.

New legislation has also put a squeeze on profits.

They can’t operate near local schools or colleges between 8.30am and 4.30pm, or within 100 metres of any other street trading outlet.

Patches, where the vans operate, are highly-prized.

A spokesman for Salford City Council said: “We are aware of an incident involving ice cream traders in Eccles at the weekend. CCTV footage has been passed to the police.

“Once their investigations are complete we will take appropriate action.

GMP Salford South posted on Facebook: “All reported to the council now, this is getting too much like Grand Theft Auto!

“One male is now wanted in connection to this incident.

“If you see an Ice cream van reg: R232EFG please call 101.”

All pictures by readers via SalfordOnline.com Facebook

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.