Frontline GMP officers to receive ‘victim-focused’ training after HMICFRS criticism

Every frontline Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer will receive “victim-focused” training following the force’s failure to record more than 80,000 crimes in the space of a year.

Dec 24, 2020
By Website Editor

Ian Hopkins resigned as chief constable last week as Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham hit out at GMP’s response to a damning report by a watchdog which criticised how cases were closed without proper investigation.

Mr Burnham described an “overly defensive culture” within the force which needed to change if it was to address the failures highlighted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

His deputy, Bev Hughes, convened a virtual meeting on Wednesday (December 23) with the region’s policing and crime leaders including Acting Chief Constable Ian Pilling.

She had already announced the launch of a crime support line this week which offers assistance to victims who wish to report an incident if it was not recorded as it should have been.

On Thursday, Baroness Hughes said further action will include a programme of refresher training concentrating on recording compliance, investigations and victim care. It will be completed by every GMP sergeant by the end of January and by every frontline officer by the end of March, she added.

She went on: “I am receiving regular reports to monitor the actions to ensure that progress is being made quickly and effectively enough. We very much want to ensure that our communities are kept updated on this progress and we are committed to continue with further meetings to update MPs and leaders.

“We want to ensure confidence in the police is restored, that victims of crime in Greater Manchester get the support they need, and that mistakes of the past don’t happen again.”

Earlier this week she said the refresher training would be “very victim-focused” as she told reporters: “We know lots of the problems that emerged arose because the experience of the victim or complainant did not seem to be front and centre in terms of the decisions the individual officers made in what to do and whether to close a case or continue it.”

The HMICFRS report found that GMP failed to record an estimated 80,100 crimes reported between July 1 2019 and June 30 2020, amounting to around 220 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 per cent of reported crimes, a drop of 11.3 per cent from 2018.

The force was placed in special measures by the watchdog which requires GMP to develop an improvement plan to “address the specific causes of concern”.

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