UK GMP is splashing out £7.5m on 143 detectives for its ailing CID last minute news
MetiNews.Com - It's part of a raft of changes being introduced by Greater Manchester Police
Breaking News ! Unloved, overworked, tired and underfunded - Life on Mars' Gene Hunt would have something rude and pithy to say about it. CID, once a byword for policing glamour, has been the poor relation in the dysfunctional family that is GMP for years, with the brightest sparks in the force agitating for moves to specialist units like the major incident team or counter terrorism. That could be about to change with a new chief constable on the way and - the M.E.N. can reveal - a £7.5m investment in CID which will bolster the number of plainclothes detectives working on local divisions by 143. It's part of a raft of changes being introduced by Greater Manchester Police as it seeks to address scathing criticism in a report by the government's police inspectorate published in December. The report slammed delayed, dropped and badly-planned investigations and estimated the force had failed to properly recorded 80,000 crimes in one year. It cost Ian Hopkins his job as chief constable. The status and glamour of Manchester and Salford CID portrayed in Life On Mars by Philip Glenister (DCI Gene Hunt) and John Simm (Sam Tyler) has long gone (Image: BBC) The force was effectively put in 'special measures', with Home Secretary Priti Patel describing the crisis at GMP as 'appalling' and announcing a 'recovery plan'. A raft of changes announced today (Thursday) amount to a reversal of many of Hopkins' ideas, with the force's CID (Central Intelligence Division) function one of the first beneficiaries. After the dust had settled from the devastating inspectorate report, GMP asked rank-and-file cops what had gone do badly wrong and what should be done about it. Read More Related Articles Scathing inspectorate report has left GMP cops 'hurting' but senior officer says he will do everything he can to put it right Read More Related Articles Greater Manchester Police find another 6,155 'missing' crimes - as top cop makes pledge to get it sorted Stretched cops told their bosses they simply didn't have time to do all the tasks asked of them, especially 'frontline' cops, the officers who respond to incidents who found themselves weighed down by bureaucratic tasks. The new model, which is still being refined, strips away much of this work and hands it to three new units. A new 'Centralised Crime Recording Unit' with 180 staff has been launched with the aim of ensuring crimes are recorded properly and quickly so officers can dispatched with the correct information. This unit will handle 'preliminary' work before any investigation begins into routine 'grade 3' calls, although it is hoped this will be extended to cover many 'grade 2' calls where GMP pledges to respond within an hour. The most serious 'grade 1' emergencies won't be included. A second new unit, the Crime Investigation Team, will take witness statements and gather evidence. Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain (Image: MEN) The force has also piloted a 'Prisoner Processing Unit' in its city centre division which is to be rolled out across all areas. Officers in these units will 'own' an investigation from the moment of arrest through to court whilst providing crime victims with regular updates. Many of GMP's more experienced, perhaps cynical, officers may well express a world-weary 'seen it all before' sigh at the start of yet another period of change in GMP, but they'll forget all about any misgivings if it works. Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain, himself a former detective, revealed a £7.5m investment in CID and child protection during a frank interview with the M.E.N. after he had unveiled a raft of new units and a change of approach.
. The fictional 1970s Manchester detective DCI Gene Hunt, made famous in BBC's Life On Mars, would perhaps be devastated at what CID looks like now, but glad of the investment.
Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister
"What we did as an organisation is go back and ask what was needed for our officers and staff to make sure we are helping them to do their job the way they wanted to do it," said DCC Hussain. He said the new units will free up frontline officers who previously had to spend hours having to process a prisoner and complete bureaucratic tasks. Policing has become so much more complex that it required officers with specialist expertise in specific areas rather than cops being required to have skills in every area of work, he said. DCC Hussain said: "Policing is now significantly different from when I joined 28 years ago. It's much more complicated. I'll never be one of those coppers who says 'when I was a lad I used to do it like this'. It's significantly more complicated. The fundamentals are still the same. But the things officers have to deal with these days are significantly more complicated."
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December's damning inspectorate report also criticised the way GMP handled domestic abuse cases. The force has now reviewed many hundreds of hours of police 'body-cam' footage, said the senior officer, to identify good practice but also see where lessons can be learned - for instance in seizing opportunities to capture evidence, using other sources of information and refining the kinds of questions officers ask. However, DCC Hussain said the footage had also revealed a small number of incidents of 'very poor behaviour' from officers. He said these were being investigated by the force's Professional Standards Branch and that it could result in disciplinary proceedings. DCC Hussain, in a message to the public, said: "Whilst it is clear we still have a lot of work to do to regain the confidence of the public, we are working hard to deliver the high-quality service you rightly expect of us. "We are making progress, including rolling out new training for officers specifically aimed at supporting victims of crime, setting up three new units specifically dedicated to improve the service you receive, and a number of other key changes are underway which I can share today."
GMP's in-coming Chief Constable Stephen Watson, and force HQ in Newton Heath (composite image)
He concluded: "This is only the beginning and we will not stop learning, improving and striving to do better. We will not always get it right, but it is our and my commitment to you that we will be as open and honest on the measures and progress we are making. "The improvements I have outlined today are thanks to the hard work of our dedicated officers and staff who come to work each day and work tirelessly to improve our service and find better ways of supporting victims." GMP's in-coming chief constable Stephen Watson, currently at the helm of South Yorkshire Police, is due to start his new job at the end of May. It is believed he has endorsed the changes announced today. He has already hinted he may be forced to axe GMP's disastrous £27m IT system which was installed in July 2019, some 19 months behind schedule. It has been plagued with problems and has seen GMP absent from a succession of national crime statistics bulletins.
GMP's new chief constable - a traditionalist with no interest in being a social media star, who is inheriting some unexploded bombs
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