By Tony Winterburn • 19 December 2020 • 9:43
Greater Manchester Police Chief Stands Down Over Force Failures.
The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police will stand down with immediate effect. This was announced by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. The force was placed in special measures a few days ago after a watchdog raised concerns over its failure to record more than 80,000 crimes over the last 12 months.
A report issued by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) last week said it was left “deeply troubled” over how cases handled by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were closed without being properly investigated – they also said GMP’s service to victims of crime was a “serious cause of concern”.
Ian Hopkins said he would step down with immediate effect. Home Secretary Priti Patel accused the region’s mayor Andy Burnham of throwing the officer “under the bus to save his own skin”. Hopkins was due to retire next autumn and has led GMP for five years, having been a police officer for 32 years. His deputy, Ian Pilling, will replace him at least on an interim basis.
Hopkins announced last week that he had been signed off sick, days after the scathing report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.
In a statement, chief constable Ian Hopkins said the force needs to be led by someone who can “address the issues from start to finish. These are challenging times for Greater Manchester Police. The force has a long-term strategic plan to address the issues raised by the HMIC and I believe this plan should be led by a Chief Constable who can oversee it from start to finish,” he said.
Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that the force’s failures were “outstandingly bad”. She said crimes like stalking and coercive control were “profoundly traumatising” and victims needed “not only the support of police to get orders restraining the perpetrator and to take them to court, but they also need to be safeguarded and referred to appropriate victim’s services”. She added that “none of that was happening” and vulnerable people had “simply been deserted”.
Beverley Hughes, the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester, said a new central crime recording unit has now been established which would eventually handle all the incidents reported to the force. Burnham’s office is launching a new telephone hotline – 0808 196 8416 – for people who feel they have not been treated properly by GMP.
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