UK 'We won't be directed by any politician': Chief Constable asserts police independence in Tier 3 row with government last minute news
MetiNews.Com - "Whatever regulations come in or remain we will continue to police it proportionately"
Breaking News ! The Chief Constable has made clear Greater Manchester Police remains independent in the ongoing row over Tier 3 lockdown restrictions. Ian Hopkins was responding to reports that the Prime Minister has held off imposing the extra rules in Greater Manchester because he fears it won't be enforced without local support. The Mayor Andy Burnham and the ten local council leaders have refused to accept being moved into Tier 3 without better financial support for the region. They have also questioned the scientific basis for closing hospitality venues. According to reports in the Daily Telegraph today, the Prime Minister and his Home Secretary Priti Patel are concerned that if they forced Tier 3 on Greater Manchester it may not be enforced. However, Mr Hopkins made clear that while he is 'accountable' to the mayor, he is 'operationally independent' and will ask his officers to enforce the rules, whatever they are. "The debate whether it's Tier 2 or Tier 3 is for the politicians to decide... based on the health issues we face and the economic issues that we face," said Mr Hopkins. Andy Burnham says he and local leaders are 'fighting back' against the 'unfair' restrictions proposed by Government (Image: PA) "Once they've decided we will police those regulations in a proportionate manner, as we have done from the start, with the support of the politicians because they have been nothing other than supportive. "My role as the chief is to uphold the law, people may not agree with some of the laws of this country, but once they're made... will police them proportionately. "What we won't be, is directed by any politician as to how we will do that..
. yes I'm accountable to the mayor, they can ask questions about my operational decision-making, and that's quite right and proper, and I would have to explain my operational decision-making.
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"But it's absolutely not going to come to that because everybody is in agreement that once we have regulations, and we've agreed what those regulations are, there has to be proportionate policing of them. "That's our role, I'm not getting sucked into a political debate." Mr Hopkins also insisted that he has spoken frequently to both the Mayor Andy Burnham, the Home Secretary, and on one occasion the Prime Minister Boris Johnson about enforcement.
(Image: Getty Images)
"Everybody is agreement on the need for proportionate enforcement and none of that has changed," he added. The Chief admitted it has been 'difficult' to enforce coronavirus restrictions over the past seven months and that the force has often faced criticism from the public. "We get questions about 'why aren't you widely enforcing this bit, but not that bit?' we're having to make some really, really difficult operational decisions every single day," he said. "All politicians nationally and locally, whichever side of the political divide they are, recognise those difficult decisions that we've had to make and have been very supportive of GMP. "Let's be clear Liverpool only just have these restrictions, we've had ten weeks of these restrictions and actually going into Tier 2 eased some of that, because prior to this week you couldn't have people in your private garden but now you can. "
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"We've faced that, we've faced protests we've had large significant gatherings throughout the summer they are really difficult, complex, and everybody's got a view whether we should have done it this way or that way, we just tried to do it in a very proportionate and balanced way, recognising that the huge majority of people across Greater Manchester are actually following the rules. "Most of the stuff we're dealing with comes from members of the public reporting it to us." Mr Hopkins said that GMP are still dealing with around 400 parties a week, as well as other large gatherings. But the colder, wet weather has ensured the number of call outs has reduced overall, he said. "From GMP's perspective, whatever regulations come in or remain we will continue to police it proportionately," he added. "Ultimately we absolutely want to help keep all our communities across Greater Manchester safe."