Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Kate Green
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Update from Deputy Mayor Kate Green on progress of Dame Vera Baird KC Inquiry

At today's (November 24) meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Kate Green, provided the following update on the progress of the Dame Vera Baird KC Inquiry.

"I am pleased to have the chance to provide an interim statement to update GMCA on progress with the Inquiry being carried out by Dame Vera Baird KC.

"As the Mayor has said, we commissioned Dame Vera to carry out an independent Inquiry into the treatment of women and girls who have been arrested and taken into police custody in Greater Manchester following the Sky News investigation that was broadcast in August 2023.

"I know you were as shocked as the Mayor and I were at what we saw in that news investigation, which is why we acted swiftly to establish the Inquiry. It is vital that the public have confidence in our custody arrangements, and that anyone who has been arrested is treated with dignity, particularly in cases of strip searching.

"In addition to the three women who featured in the Sky News investigation in August, Dame Vera has talked to a further 12 people of which nine are female and three are male, as well as considering reports supplied by others who have come forward anonymously.

"Whilst the Inquiry has retained its focus on the treatment of women and girls, we felt that it was important to also consider any male complainants that have come forward to the Inquiry with similar experiences. This will also enable us to assess whether there are any differences between the treatment of women and men in police custody.

"Dame Vera has also held a focus group with women's organisations in Greater Manchester, met independent custody visitors, and visited Pendleton Custody suite, the custody suite in question in the Sky News broadcast.

"The Inquiry has continued to explore the experiences of people who are arrested and taken into police custody, with a focus on women and girls in respect of maximising their rights, their safety, and their dignity. This has included examining wider practice, standards, and the culture of custody in Greater Manchester.

"When we launched the Inquiry, the Mayor and I said Dame Vera would publish her findings this autumn, but due to the number of people that have come forward and the time needed to thoroughly review their cases, the findings are expected to be published in February 2024."

Article Published: 24/11/2023 11:40 AM