GMP commits to provide every resident with a named officer to contact
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has committed to providing every resident with a named officer they can contact as part of an effort to rebuild trust with the community after the force was placed in special measures last year.
Ian Hopkins resigned as chief constable last month after a damning report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found GMP failed to record more than 80,000 crimes in the space of a year.
At a virtual press conference on Monday, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said the findings “shook public confidence” and set out steps to address the concerns.
He said recruitment into the new centralised crime recording unit has been stepped up and frontline officers and staff will receive extra training on crime recording and support for victims.
A support line set up for anyone who wants to complain about a crime previously reported to GMP has already received more than 200 calls.
“From today, every resident in Greater Manchester will have a named, contactable local police officer and police community support officer (PCSO),” said Mr Burnham.
“It is important for me to make clear that this isn’t a system for reporting crime.
“The public should continue to call 999 for emergencies, 101 and use online crime reporting systems in the normal way.
“Nevertheless, it is a significant enhancement of GMP’s neighbourhood policing offer. It will allow the public to follow up concerns raised or report more general issues affecting the local area.
“It will help officers better understand residents’ concerns, improve public confidence in policing and, we believe, reduce the risks identified by HMICFRS of crimes going unreported and victims unsupported.
“I acknowledge that it will create extra pressure on officers and that is why we owe it to them, in return, to continue investment in frontline support.”
People can find out who the officers are through the GMP website or those without online access can call 101 and ask an operator to send a message for them.
Mr Burnham is proposing an increase of £15 in the police precept for the next financial year to help pay for extra officers, meaning a £15 annual increase for council tax payers in Band D properties, with those in Band B properties paying £11.66 more.
The mayor also announced external advisers have been brought in to address concerns about the iOps computer system, which has been beset by technical problems and linked to the failure to record crime.
Acting Chief Constable Ian Pilling said: “We get many, many things right. What I won’t shy away from is our recording of crime and therefore the service we give to some victims is not at the level that it needs to be and that is where we need to improve.”