Greater Manchester Police: Named officer plan 'will improve accountability'

image captionThe move will also see 325 new officers join GMP by 2022

Every Greater Manchester resident will be assigned a named neighbourhood officer in a bid to "improve accountability", the mayor has said.

In December, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found Greater Manchester Police (GMP) force failed to record 80,000 crimes in a year.

The watchdog said GMP's service to victims was a "serious" concern.

Andy Burnham said he hoped the new move, which will see 325 new officers join GMP, would help build confidence.

Following the publication of the report, GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins stepped down with immediate effect, citing ill health.

An HMIC spokesman said at the time that GMP, the second largest force in England, must "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".

image copyrightReuters
image captionMr Burnham said the failings of GMP "shook public confidence"

Revealing his plan for the immediate future of the force, Mr Burnham said residents would be able to contact their neighbourhood officer for "general issues" and the move would help officers understand what was happening "on the ground".

He said the service was not for reporting crime and residents could find their assigned officer by searching GMP's website or by calling 101.

Mr Burnham said the force had "clearly slipped back" but, since the publication of the report, had seen a "significant response".

He said the 325 new officers would be hired by 2022 as part of an "existing commitment" and be paid for by an increase in council tax.

Acting GMP Chief Constable Ian Pilling said the move was about "improving the service" and added that he remained "really, really proud" of the force.

He added that the force was "not hiding for one minute away from the deficiencies" of the report and vowed to "put that right".

"I don't pretend for one minute that we don't have work to do to improve that service," Mr Pilling said.

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