Greater Manchester Police to be placed into special measures after damning report

Greater Manchester Police will be placed into special measures following a damning report which found it had failed to record 80,000 crimes in 12 months.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, who made the decision, says it reflects the "poor service the force provides to many victims of crime".

It said: "The level of scrutiny on Greater Manchester Police has been raised and the force has been placed in the Engage stage of the HMICFRS monitoring process.

"In the Engage stage, a force is required to develop an improvement plan to address the specific causes of concern that have led to it being placed in the advanced phase of the monitoring process.

"The process is intended to provide support to the force from external organisations including the Home Office, College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council to assist in achieving the required improvements."

A report released by the watchdog on 7 December found the second largest police force in England failed to record around one in five of all crimes, and one in four violent crimes, reported by the public.

Between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) failed to record an estimated 80,100 crimes reported to it - amounting to around 220 crimes a day.

A higher proportion of violent crime was not recorded, including domestic abuse and behavioural crimes, such as harassment, stalking and coercive controlling behaviour.

Inspectors estimated that the force recorded 77.7% of reported crimes, a drop of 11.3% from 2018.

The force wrongly and prematurely closed some investigations, inspectors found, some with vulnerable victims, a proportion being domestic abuse cases, where although a suspect was identified, the victim did not support, or withdrew support for police action.

And "in too many cases" watchdogs said there was no evidence to confirm the victim's wishes had been properly considered before the investigation was closed, and inspectors could not be sure that victims were properly safeguarded and provided with the right service or support.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

Ian Hopkins has been Chief Constable of GMP since October 2015, leading a force of 6,866 officers.

Following the publication of the HMICFRS report, Mr Hopkins revealed he had decided to take a break from his role to recover from Labyrinthitis - an inner ear infection which affects balance.

In a statement provided on Wednesday, Mr Hopkins said he had been suffering from the condition since the end of October.

"I continued to work throughout with the support of the rest of my Chief Officers team until Sunday 13 December, despite feeling very ill," he added.

"I finally made the decision over last weekend that in the interests of my health I needed to take a break and recover properly so I can return and lead GMP with the same passion and strength of character that I have always demonstrated.

"Despite feeling ill I remain in contact daily with members of my Chief Officers team."

At the time of the report, Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice said: "It is absolutely critical that the general public has faith in the processes used by the police to record incidences of crime. Some of the findings in this HMICFRS report are extremely disappointing and I have communicated my feelings to the Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police, who must now move quickly to make improvements."

Both Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Bev Hughes, announced a series of actions following the report - including a hotline for anyone who feels the crime they are reporting has not been recorded.