Statement by Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson
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Statement by Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson QPM following the inquest into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor:
"Firstly I would like to offer my thoughts to the loved ones of the men who lost their lives at the hands of Stephen Port. This was a deeply disturbing case involving a deeply disturbed individual and I completely understand that the horrific circumstances of it will cast a shadow over British Policing.
"For their part, the Metropolitan Police have offered an apology to all those affected, and now I would like to offer some reassurance as far as what we are doing here in Greater Manchester to prevent any occurrence of this within our force area.
"We are absolutely committed to working closely with relevant agencies and community groups within the LGBTQ+ community that can offer support and advice so that we can understand any prevalent issues and adjust our policing style accordingly.
"It is by working alongside our communities to understand their concerns and lived experiences that we can defeat those who seek to do harm to them.
"I'm also cognisant of the fact that a lack of understanding of GHB has been raised as an issue within the Inquest that has now concluded. We have seen the use of this drug in Greater Manchester, notably in the case of serial rapist Reynhard Sinaga, and I am confident that our understanding of its use and effects has significantly increased in recent years.
"Ensuring that we conduct investigations to the best possible standard is something that has been a cornerstone of the GMP improvement plan that has been communicated in recent months.
"As I'm sure other forces around the country will do too, we'll study the learning taken from this case and the outcome of the Inquest to see if there is anything that we can translate into our working practices here in Greater Manchester."
"I thank you for your continued support as we work together to protect all in our community in an engaging, approachable and empathetic manner.".
"I would like to close by extending my deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor."