3. What is GMP doing to improve service to victims?
Chief Constable Stephen Watson has already set out his plan for the future and promises to the public to drive forward improvements to the service that the public receives. The entire team are now already working at pace to transform our service to victims.
We have already seen the most drastic and wide-ranging senior officer recruitment process ever undertaken in GMP and we have a new leadership team in place that has accelerated change.
This includes a new Deputy Chief Constable, a Chief of Corporate Services, 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 strategic core, our call handling and response functions.
Each district in Greater Manchester also has a brand-new dedicated district commander. The unprecedented additional 11 Chief Superintendent’s provide improved leadership at a local level and enables GMP to better understand and address the challenges facing local communities across the region.
More is being done to strengthen local leadership and support front line officers and staff. Officers continue to be redeployed from headquarters roles to local policing roles, and there is a fresh focus on welfare, support and wellbeing to allow us to seek to bring good people back to GMP.
In September 2021, Chief Constable Stephen Watson announced that the Bolton Custody Suite has been prioritised for reopening to increase cell capacity. This is to support GMP's renewed focus on investigating crime, looking after victims, arresting offenders and protecting neighbourhoods.
Across Greater Manchester, the monthly average number of arrests for August to October 2021 was 25% higher than the average for November 2020. We will continue to look at our custody provision to make sure space is available as arrests continue to increase. Daily indications over recent weeks indicate that the growth in the number of arrests is accelerating significantly.
The Crime Investigation Team, made up of 14 supervisors and 95 investigators force-wide, was launched by Chief Constable Stephen Watson QPM in May 2020 to help alleviate pressure from frontline officers by utilising station-based officers who are able to carry out initial investigations quicker.
So far, 8,000 crimes have been dealt with and over 1,000 arrest packs have been prepared and sent to the frontline. Analysis has revealed that the introduction of the Crime Investigation Team has resulted in 10% of workload being relieved from the response teams with an average of 90 crimes less for all five relief teams.
This has allowed frontline officers the time and resources they need to ensure they are able to respond as quickly as possible to urgent ongoing crimes.
GMP’s ability to respond to and tackle crime has been improved by the purchase of 167 extra new cars for response officers, representing an investment of £3.5 million! We have also increased driver training capacity to get more staff trained to respond to emergency situations.
A significant change programme is already underway to reconfigure GMP to deliver the plan on the page. This work includes a whole-scale review of response and neighbourhood policing which will ensure that response and incident/crime investigations improve, whilst protecting neighbourhood teams so that they are able to focus on local issues and problem-solving.