Home Secretary Priti Patel has written to Andy Burnham with ‘deep concerns’ over a damning report showed that Greater Manchester Police is falling short and too many crimes are not being recorded.
In the letter, which was sent to the mayor’s office and Greater Manchester Police, the minister said that in too many cases the service provided to victims, particularly vulnerable victims, was falling short, too many crimes were not being recorded and that in too many cases those failures related to crimes of domestic abuse.
The letter adds that the report paints a worrying picture of failings in tackling crime more broadly. Most troubling was the Inspectorate’s finding of a Cause for Concern in relation to safeguarding of the most vulnerable victims.
The Home Secretary added: “I recognise and appreciate the efforts of every officer in GMP, particularly over the past 12 months when the challenges of policing during the pandemic have been huge. However, while we await the findings of the Inspectorate’s follow up report to determine the progress since the widely-reported failures of iOPS, these findings risk further eroding the confidence and trust that the people of Greater Manchester are entitled to have in their force’s ability to keep them safe.”
She added that she requests a response from the mayor by February 4 and a full recovery plan from the Chief Constable ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
Greater Manchester Conservative MP’s have also expressed their concerns over the findings.
Bury North MP James Daly said: “It’s extremely worrying that so many crimes have gone unreported and I know everyone across Bury and Greater Manchester will share these concerns. I am my fellow Conservative MPs here will be meeting with the Home Secretary to see how this can be addressed as clearly there are major problems which both the police and mayor’s leadership need to address.”
His colleague in Bury South Christian Wakeford, added: “This is a matter of huge concern to many across Greater Manchester and is particularly worrying that this issue has been been raised for quite some time now. I look forward to discussing the matter further with the Home Secretary in due course.”
In Bolton, Chris Green, the MP for Bolton West said: “Labour have been in charge of policing in Greater Manchester since they won the PCC election in 2012. Their mayor has to explain these major failings and not lay the blame elsewhere.”
While Mark Logan, the MP for Bolton North East said: “Greater Manchester Police’s failure, at highest level, to tackle crime is unacceptable and the impact this will have on our residents is unimaginable. I have a productive relationship with our local police in Bolton and expect more from the Mayor of Greater Manchester who is responsible for governance relating to the police here.
“Whilst the Home Office have delivered the largest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010, Greater Manchester Police have failed to protect our most vulnerable.
“This is deeply regretful, and I look forward to reading their recovery plan at the earliest opportunity. Our police in Bolton work very hard and deserve more from the political leadership in Greater Manchester.”
Laura Evans, the Conservative’s mayoral candidate in Greater Manchester also expressed concern.
She said: “This report highlights the scale of just how many people across Greater Manchester have been let down by the Mayor’s failure to show leadership and direction at Greater Manchester Police. It’s time he got his priorities sorted and focussed less on press officers and more on police officers.”