CC Stephen Watson's response to HMICFRS PEEL report
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We recognise and accept HMICFRS findings about our continued weaknesses, which follows a routine inspection. These describe a quality of service which is not yet where we want it to be and which I know is far from what the people of Greater Manchester deserve. For this simple fact I humbly apologise. I am truly sorry for every time we have not met the needs of victims of crime.
I can assure you that our top priority is to keep people safe.
The findings of this report are deep-rooted. Whilst we are making progress in key areas, I fully accept that we need to move quickly to address the long-term, fundamental and systemic problems driving these failings.
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.
We have recruited a new Deputy Chief Constable, a Local Policing Assistant Chief Constable and a new Chief Superintendent from outside the force to help address the issues raised and to bring improvements to our call handling and response functions.
Indeed, by Monday, every District in Greater Manchester will be led by a Chief Superintendent who is locally accountable to the communities they serve. I am already heartened by their readiness to make positive change and implement the initiatives needed to get this force into shape.
We were fully aware of the issues raised by HMICFRS which has already informed the basis of the comprehensive and well-received forward plan I published recently. Work to translate the strategic plan into a practical series of improvement activities across the operating model has already begun which will address these problems expeditiously.
Immediate actions I have taken include bolstering the leadership on the ground, driving an increase in staffing in call handling, and conducting a wholesale reform of the force's local policing model. Many of these initiatives, while complex in their nature, are already under-way but will take time to yield results.
Improving our service is critical, therefore I have also organised peer support from the country's highest performing forces which starts on Monday, in an effort to generate actions we can take quickly or may not have already identified.