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MetiNews.Com - Superintendents Arif Nawaz and Chris Hill were both said to be 'silver' commanders on the night of the attack
Breaking News ! The Manchester Arena bombing inquiry was today (Monday) due to hear from two senior officers who were in charge of the initial response to the atrocity. Superintendents Arif Nawaz and Chris Hill were both said to be 'silver' commanders on the night of the attack. They were at different points stationed in the 'silver' control room set up in the force headquarters in Newton Heath to take pressure off the force duty officer, Insp Dale Sexton, who was in another building and concentrating on the perceived threat of a continuing marauding terror attack. Insp Sexton had initiated Operation Plato, the plan for such an attack, following erroneous reports of a second terrorist and shrapnel wounds being mistaken for gunshot wounds. A silver control room was set up at force HQ to manage the unarmed response to the attack. Suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed himself and 22 others when he detonated a huge device in his backpack following an Ariana Grande concert at the arena on May 22, 2017. His brother Hashem Abedi is serving a minimum 55 years behind bars for helping his brother prepare the bomb and the attack. Our reporter is following the inquiry - follow live updates below. Read More Related Articles Not being able to give casualties first aid was 'worst feeling' says first firearms officer to enter Arena blast zone Read More Related Articles Armed officer's 'disbelief' at response of other emergency services to casualties in Manchester Arena bomb blast zone 10:24Todd Fitzgerald'My initial intuition was to go, but for what I believe to be logical reasons, I didn't'Supt Nawaz said attended some scenes in his capacity as 'night silver', but 'nothing of the gravity' of the May 2017 attack.The witness said he believed he was aware at the time of the force's major incident plan through his JESIP training.He conceded he had not read it 'cover to cover'.He has since read it.The witness agrees it does mention the silver commander should go to the scene.The witness confirms on the night he did not attend the scene of the attack."My initial intuition was to go, but for what I believe to be logical reasons, I didn't," said Supt Nawaz.The witness said he was at Central Park police station at the time as he had a meeting in the evening there with two colleagues, even though his main office was in Longsight.His role was to be on duty that evening and, had the attack happened later, he could have been at home.He tells the inquiry that at the time he could finish his tour of duty at home.Supt Nawaz said he had 'a very long list' of duties.The witness said he could not recall being aware of the Ariana Grande gig that night.He said concerts at the arena were 'routinely' dealt with by British Transport Police and it was only for other events such as boxing when GMP would get involved.10:12Todd FitzgeraldWitness asked about his responsibilitiesSupt Nawaz agreed it was also his understanding that he was required to consult with others on matters he needed help with.The witness is asked whether he understands if there was an incident he was responsible for preparing a tactical plan.He agreed it was.He said his role was to prepare a tactical plan which met the 'gold strategy' - the strategy set out by more senior police officers.
.Supt Nawaz said it was also his responsibility to review any such plan and update it.The officer is continuing to be asked about the night silver guide.It requires a 'forward command post manager' for any serious incident.The witness agreed it re-enforced the requirement to attend the scene of a major incident.Under a section titled 'terrorism', he agreed there was nothing in it about Op Plato.Pressed by the chairman, Supt Nawaz said he didn't think he had had counter terrorism training for his role as a superintendent.He said he would have been aware of the terror threat level in 2017."Was it at the top of my thinking? I would say not, it was one of a numerous range of considerations as a night silver," he said, when pressed about his knowledge of the terror threat level when he was on duty at that time.He said he was aware of different attack methodologies but only through news reports rather than training.Supt Nawaz said he didn't know what Op Plato was in May 2017 and nor that it was anything to do with terrorism.He agreed he had never heard of it.09:57Todd FitzgeraldHearing beginsSupt Arif Nawaz is sworn in and is being asked questions by counsel to the inquiry, Nicholas de la Poer.He joined GMP as constable in 2000 and had a series of promotions until he became a temporary superintendent by May 2017.Supt Nawaz was confirmed as a substantive superintendent in October 2017, a few months after the attack.He was an accredited silver commander from 2016, the witness confirms. He received JESIP (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles) training in 2014.This training is for training for multi-agency working in the event of major incidents.Supt Nawaz was on GMP's night silver commander rota by May 2017.The witness said there was 'no specific training' for the night silver role. He said it was possible he had read GMP's 'night silver guide', but he could not be sure.The guide penned by former chief constable Sir Peter Fahy is shown to the inquiry. It states clear leadership was required for this role.It states the night silver 'attends' any major incidents.Supt Nawaz said it was his understanding on the night of the attack that the night silver would attend major incidents.
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