Watchdog ‘concerned about public safety’ in Manchester after police fail to improve
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 30/09/2021
A watchdog has said it is “concerned about public safety in Greater Manchester” after finding that improvements to policing demanded four years ago had still not been implemented.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been issued with a “cause of concern” over the time it takes to respond to “incidents where vulnerable people are at risk”, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said.
This includes those who are suffering domestic abuse.
GMP has been told to “immediately improve” its deployment to incidents “within the timescales it has set itself”.
It covers incidents that require an immediate response, classed as 15 minutes, or a prompt response, defined as an hour.
Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said GMP had “consistently failed to make significant improvements” in how it responds to vulnerable victims of crime.
He added: “We told GMP to make these improvements in 2017 yet it has still not made sufficient progress. It has now reached the point where we are concerned about public safety in Greater Manchester.
“The people of Greater Manchester will rightly expect their local police force to do all it can to protect them from harm. We will therefore be closely monitoring the force’s performance to make sure that public safety comes first.”
The force, which has apologised for the failures, has been in crisis for some time.
Former chief constable Ian Hopkins resigned late last year after GMP was placed in special measures.
That followed concerns over its failure to record more than 80,000 crimes in the space of a year.
New Chief Constable Stephen Watson, appointed in May, said he was “truly sorry for every time we have not met the needs of victims of crime”, adding: “I can assure you that our top priority is to keep people safe.”
Progress is being made, he said, adding: “In the short time I’ve been in post, I have seen our officers and staff working incredibly hard to improve our service.”
“I have overseen the most drastic and wide-ranging senior officer recruitment process ever undertaken in GMP and we have a new leadership team in place that will accelerate change.”
Earlier this month he vowed to stop criminals “getting away with it”, promising “surge activity” to fight crime and “real ferocity” in tackling organised crime gangs.
© Sky News 2020