Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor has committed herself again to protecting communities, tackling inequality, and building a strong, transparent police force as Bev Hughes’s appointment was confirmed for a second term today (Friday 14 May) by the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel.

The Chair of the Panel and Rochdale Councillor, Janet Emsley, said: “I'm honoured to be chairing my first meeting of the Greater Manchester Police, Crime and Fire Panel in 2021. I’m delighted that our first job this year has been to confirm that Bev Hughes has been appointed once again as the Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire.”

Bev has served as Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire on behalf of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham since 2017, taking on formal oversight of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) in 2020.

In that time, the Deputy Mayor has invested millions in community safety initiatives, transformed support services for vulnerable victims of crime and enabled the recruitment of 667 additional police officers.

Speaking at the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel, Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes said: “It’s been my honour and a privilege to serve the communities of Greater Manchester as Deputy Mayor for the last four years, working alongside the Mayor to build safer, stronger communities. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to continue building on this work.

“The last few years have seen unprecedented challenge. Those we lost in the Arena attack are forever at the forefront of my mind, and as the public inquiry continues, I know this is a difficult time for many. Amidst the tragedy, the solidarity of Greater Manchester shone through, and it is this community spirit and strength that has been a key driver of my work and will continue to be.

“That same community spirit has continued to shine throughout the pandemic, as communities rallied together to help and support those who needed it most. As Deputy Mayor, I have worked closely with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), community safety partners and support services to ensure the right support was in place to protect those who are most isolated and vulnerable during this time.”

Highlights of the Deputy’s Mayor’s work over the last four years include:

• Investment in police officer recruitment which has seen numbers increase by 667, with an additional 325 planned this year. This includes a named, contactable local police officer and police community support officer for every resident of Greater Manchester, and the establishment of a dedicated unit to keep people safe on the public transport network.
• The launch of the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit which takes a community-led, place-based approach to addressing the underlying causes of violent crime. This includes working with residents and the voluntary sector to co-design solutions to problems of violence in their area, including how money is spent and when and where interventions are delivered as part of a £500,000 community-led pilot scheme currently running in parts of Bolton, Manchester, Salford, and Oldham.
• The ongoing transformation of victim support services to ensure the most vulnerable victims and survivors get the help they need. This includes investment in GMP’s Cyber and Economic Crime Awareness Service (CECAS) which safeguards people at risk of cyber-crime, and additional funding for domestic abuse services during the pandemic. There has also been almost £2m of grant funding provided for early intervention and prevention, and £1.5m invested into Greater Manchester’s women’s centres to support women offenders and their families.
• Working alongside the Mayor to transform GMFRS as part of Programme for Change. This work continues with the new Chief Fire Officer, to ensure the service is a modern, progressive organisation that is fit to tackle the changing risks the city-region faces.

The Deputy Mayor added: “Looking ahead, I am looking forward to working with the new Chief Constable as we begin a new chapter for Greater Manchester Police, one which will see us build a strong, accountable, victim-centred police service, that brings out the best of our many dedicated officers and staff who serve our communities day in, day out.”

“Today, we have also launched our first Fire Plan which sets out the priorities for our fire and rescue service for the next four years. I will be working closely with Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel, to deliver on those priorities and ensure the Service understands and reflects the communities it serves.

“I’m also committed to tackling inequality across our city-region, working with partners, the VCSE sector and local people as we seek to build back better from the pandemic. I’m particularly passionate about gender equality and tackling gender-based abuse, which is pervasive in our society and must be eradicated. In the next few weeks, we will launch a formal consultation on our 10-year plan to prevent abuse and violence against women and girls and challenge the attitudes and inequalities that enable it.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It has been a very challenging four years for our fire and police services. I believe we have got to the heart of the issues with GMFRS and now, with our new Chief Fire Officer, the service is making great progress and this work will continue under the Deputy Mayor’s leadership.

“Now, as we look towards a new era for GMP, I am confident we have an outstanding leader in the incoming Chief Constable Stephen Watson. Progress has already been made to address the problems within the force, but we are clear that more needs to be done, including strengthening neighbourhood policing and improving the 101 service. The level of scrutiny and accountability the Deputy Mayor has provided is of a level beyond what people may realise and we will continue to strengthen that public scrutiny and accountability going forward.”


Article Published: 14/05/2021 16:46 PM