Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice, have announced a series of actions given findings contained within Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)'s report 'Greater Manchester Police - Victim Service Assessment (VSA)'.
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor said: "The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) raised extremely serious issues with implications for the quality of services to victims that have been on-going for a number of years. More progress should have been made since the previous HMICFRS reports that highlighted this particular area of concern. Now that it has been made clear by HMICFRS, we are putting in place the necessary actions to improve standards of service to victims of crime in Greater Manchester.
"However, it is also worth setting out the context within which Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was already trying to implement significant organisational changes to improve performance in this area. The period of the inspection, April to June 2020, was difficult and GMP had to contend with a number of significant issues, including:
- responding to newly-introduced COVID legislation including implementing and training across the whole organisation;
- significant loss of capacity due to illness, self-isolation and shielding;
- reduced capacity in the Crime Recording and Resolution Unit and District Crime Progression Teams;
- significantly increased demand relating to COVID-19 legislation.
"It is not true to say that, whilst long-standing issues remained, there had been no improvement in crime recording since 2016. In 2018, HMICFRS carried out a Crime data integrity Inspection within GMP. Although areas for continued improvement were identified, HMICFRS documented that "The Force was found to have made several improvements".
"In the 2018 inspection, the key areas inspected by HMICFRS Crime Data Integrity compliance rates were:
- overall + 89.1% - from 85.5% in 2016
- violence = 86.8% - from 75.4% in 2016
- sexual offences = 91.4% - from 91.7% in 2016
- other crime = 91.1% - from 90.9% in 2016
"In 2018, HMICFRS upgraded GMP from inadequate to requires improvement. There were areas for further progress identified however the outcomes above show improvements had been made.
"This said, it is recognised that the latest HMICFRS report has identified unacceptable service levels, which in turn has affected public confidence, and that is why the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have initiated a number of immediate actions to rebuild trust and confidence."
"We have spoken with HMICFRS about the issues identified in their report and have set out these proposals to them. They have welcomed these steps and we are discussing the support they can provide to ensure the required progress is made quickly.
"We are meeting with HMICFRS again later this week."
Central Recording and Resolution Unit
"Greater Manchester Police have put measures in place to audit crime screening decisions, in particular those where there are no lines of enquiry, prioritising domestic abuse and rape crimes.
"The Mayor and Deputy Mayor have approved plans to increase capacity in the CRRU (from 151 staff to 185). A major recruitment drive which was underway but seriously delayed due to the COVID pandemic restarted in October 2020 and has now been accelerated. Staff were drafted into the CRRU, including from the airport, and an additional 34 staff are currently being recruited. However, temporary additional resourcing capacity was and continues to be provided to the Central Recording and Resolution Unit.
"This Unit has demonstrated improvements in the areas of crime recording that it has been dealing with. NCRS compliance in the unit is 98% for Grade 4 and 5 incidents (generally high volume, low complexity incidents/crimes where there is not an immediate risk/threat that needs to be negated).
"GMP have established a gold structure and taskforce to focus on the delivery of the Action Plan on a daily basis. The Taskforce includes a member of the PCC’s office and a member of staff from the Combined Authority’s internal audit team.
"The Deputy Mayor will be reviewing progress on a weekly basis and the Mayor will be kept updated on an on-going basis and will also review progress on a monthly basis with the Taskforce.
"The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will continue the drive to increase police numbers and build capacity in GMP by recruiting more police officers as they have over previous years.
"As earlier HMICFRS reports have stated, cuts to policing, including the loss of 2,000 police officers in GMP over the last decade, have inevitably affected their capacity and ability to provide the same level of service as they were able to deliver before the cuts.
"This Government has acknowledged that the cuts to the police went too far.
In the first Mayoral budget after the 2017 election, the precept increase began to rebuild the capacity in GMP, responding directly to the concerns that the public were raising about the number of police officers.
"Since 2017 there are now 679 more police officers in GMP and we will continue to invest in more officers."
Hotline and online
"In addition to the above, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor want to ensure that there is a safety net service for any victim who does not feel that they have received the right treatment.
"The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will not accept a situation where people are left with no support and nowhere to go and it is essential that immediate action is taken to support victims over the coming period.
For anyone who feels that the crime they are reporting hasn’t been recorded (ie they don’t receive a Crime Reference Number), or the response from GMP isn’t appropriate, we are setting up a dedicated hotline, supported by Victim Support which will go live on Monday 21 December. This hotline is for victims who wish to make a complaint or report concerns about their treatment.
"Everyone else should continue to use the usual channels to report a crime.
"A process is being put in place with a senior officer in GMP to review calls to the hotline and Victim Support staff will be able to offer advice and support to victims.
"In addition, there is a new service called Single Online Home which is the online way of contacting GMP. It is accessible via the website and allows the public to report crime and to make a complaint. If anyone feels they haven’t been treated properly they can simply and easily access this system on the 'feedback' tab at the top of the screen from any computer.
"The Mayor and Deputy will review weekly reports on the number of calls and complaints received, the nature of the cases referred, and the actions taken to respond to the individuals."
Article Published: 16/12/2020 17:33 PM