Greater Manchester Police
|Greater Manchester Police|
|Badge of the Greater Manchester Police|
|Motto||Fighting Crime, Protecting People|
|Formed||1 April, 1974|
|Preceding agency||Manchester and Salford Police|
|Annual budget||£524.1 million|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Police area of Greater Manchester in the country of England, UK|
|Map of Greater Manchester Police area|
|Size||492 square miles (1,300 km2)|
|Population||Approx. 2.5 million|
|Legal jurisdiction||England & Wales|
|Constituting instrument||Police Act 1996|
|Headquarters||Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester|
|Constables||8,384 (of which 350 are special constables)|
|Police Community Support Officers||773|
|Police and Crime Commissioner responsible||Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner|
|Child agency||Tactical Vehicle Crime Unit
Manchester Ship Canal Police (1893–1993)
Manchester Airport Police (1954–1976)
|Airbases||City Airport Manchester|
|Panda cars||Ford Focus
|Pursuit vehicles||Vauxhall Vectra C
BMW 3 Series
BMW 5 Series
|Patrol vehicles||Range Rover
MD Explorer (1)
Britten-Norman Defender (1)
|* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is the police service responsible for law enforcement within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester in North West England. GMP is the third largest police service in the United Kingdom after the Metropolitan Police Service, West Midlands Police and Police Scotland as such it is also the third largest of the English police services.
In total, Greater Manchester Police employs; 7,565 police officers, 519 Volunteer Special Constables, 739 Police Community Support Officers, and 2,741 members of police staff. The GMP headquarters are at Central Park, on Northampton Road, in the Newton Heath area of Manchester.
- 1 History
- 2 Organisation
- 3 GMP Units
- 4 Collaborations
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Newspaper
- 7 Officers killed in the line of duty
- 8 GMP incidents and investigations
- 9 Controversy
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Greater Manchester Police had its early origins in the Metropolitan Manchester City Police which formed sometime in the 1830s, just after the Metropolitan Police Force in London. The service then changed its name to Manchester Borough Police. Upon Manchester gaining city status in 1853, the police service then changed its name again to Manchester City Police to reflect this status. The name of Manchester City Police remained for over a century until 1968 when Salford City Police was merged in Manchester City Police, resulting in the new name of Manchester and Salford Police. Then in 1974, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972, Greater Manchester Police was formed with parts of the Cheshire Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary merged into GMP.
The service was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of Manchester and Salford Police with parts of Lancashire Constabulary, Cheshire Constabulary and West Yorkshire Constabulary. The first Chief Constable of the service was William James Richards, followed shortly afterwards, in 1975 by James Anderton. James Anderton was an controversial figure during his 15 years in office due to his outspoken style of leadership and hardline views on crime, policing and morality. In 1991 David Wilmot succeeded James Anderton. In 2002 Michael Todd was appointed to Chief Constable until his death in 2008.
Police Constable Ian Rodgers was the first GMP officer to be killed in the line of duty in 1975. His death occurred in a railway incident at Stockport. Since the formation of GMP 20 officers have been killed or died in the line of duty. GMP then assisted with the reconstruction of Manchester following the 1996 Manchester bombing, with Garry Shewan.
There was much press coverage of the death of the then Chief Constable Michael J. Todd in March 2008. Todd was seen as a man of action and got more "bobbies on the beat", with himself often doing so. Following Michael J. Todd's death in post, Peter Fahy, previously head of Cheshire Police, was appointed as Chief Constable in September, 2008.
In the 1990s, Manchester had gained the deriding tag of 'Gunchester', in reference to the city's high gun crime rate at the time. Greater Manchester Police faced the problem of gun crime in Manchester, particularly in the deprived districts in south Manchester. Key gang leaders were jailed for life in 2009 and by 2011, the city had shaken off the tag.
On 14 October 2010, Greater Manchester Police posted details of all calls made to them in a 24-hour period on Twitter. The service posted details of every incident reported to its officers in 24 hours to demonstrate how much of their time is spent on what the Chief Constable called "social work" instead of fighting crime.
GMP have utilised social media as a helpful force rather than a hindrance. In the 2011 England riots, with criticism of the role social media such as Twitter and Facebook had in instigating the riots, GMP stated that support on social media had resulted in many responses from members of the public in trying to catch suspects. GMP then naming and shamed any convicted individuals over the riots and the GMP Twitter feed currently has over 100,000 followers, more than any other police service in the UK.
The area GMP polices is split into geographical divisions, with each Metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester being assigned one, with the exception of the City of Manchester, which has three divisions. Each division provides officers that patrol the community, and response officers that respond to emergencies, along with CID officers. Each division is headed by a Chief Superintendent.
(In 2012, B and C divisions merged to become the South Manchester division)
Road Policing Unit
GMP also operates a Road Policing Unit (RPU) responsible for all traffic policing in the county, which includes over 280 miles (450 km) of motorway. GMP RPU utilises a variety of vehicles, each with its own purpose. For general roads policing duties the service operates a number of BMW 3 Series Saloon and Estate vehicles which have replaced the previous use of the Vauxhall Vectra Saloon vehicles. The motorway unit operates both BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery 4x4 vehicles. As well as liveried vehicles GMP also operates a number of unmarked BMW and Audi vehicles, which are used for general road policing and motorway duties. Previously the Motorway and the Motorcycle units stood separately, but in recent years both have been incorporated into the RPU's. BMW R1200RT-P motorcycles have recently replaced the Honda Pan-European ST 1100's & ill-fated ST 1300's. The RPU's are divided into three strategic units, based at RPU 1 Leigh, RPU 2 Hyde & RPU 3 Chadderton. Due to the constraints on budgets and the latested review, it is envisaged that the Road Policing Unit will lose a further 78 officers and be restructured/reduced to two RPU's. This will reduce the strength of the RPU to only 100 officers over a 5 shift system providing only 20 officers per shift to cover the police area.
During the 1990s, the GMP's area had a high rate of car crime. To combat this the Tactical Vehicle Crime Unit was formed which in 2010 was replaced by Vortex,which is based at Stretford Police Station.
In June 2011, The Tactical Vehicle Crime Unit was re formed under the slightly different name, Tactical Vehicle Intercept Unit. The unit continues to utilise various high performance unmarked vehicles and officers work alongside the ANPR Intercept Unit who use a fleet of 12 liveried BMW 330's to combat serious and organised criminals using the road network.
Air Support Unit
GMP's Air Support Unit, with its call sign as India 99, operates an MD Explorer helicopter, along with a fixed-wing Britten-Norman BN-2T-4S Defender, with its call sign being India 66 (now NPAS **, India callsigns no longer used). The current aircraft operate from City Airport Manchester, formerly Barton Aerodrome. GMP trialled a tethered blimp in 2010 for which would provide surveillance for major events which would be a cheaper alternative to the use of a helicopter in the long term. However, the blimp was only used on 18 occasions and was sold due to operational problems.
From 2012, the GMP Air Support Unit will be part of the National Police Air Service. India 99 will subsequently be part of the North West Air Operations Group division, which will operated four helicopters merged from GMP, Cheshire Constabulary, North Wales Police and Lancashire Constabulary. The service will aim to save money and provide flexibility, as historically each police service was only permitted operate its helicopter in its policing region. The National Police Air Service will operate the four helicopters based on the most serious incidents in the North West Air Operations Group jurisdiction, rather than assigning one helicopter to one region. This creates the possibility that two helicopters could be used in one police area (i.e. Greater Manchester, Merseyside etc.) if incidents are deemed fit and viable to do so.
The current helicopter has been in operation since 2008, and previous to that, the previous GMP helicopter had served for 7 years. The current aircraft is a McDonnell Douglas 902 Explorer. In 2007, the GMP helicopter carried out nearly 5,500 assignments and was involved in the arrests of 700 suspects.
India 66 is a fixed-wing aircraft, mostly used in reconnaissance assignments for GMP. With the Police Service of Northern Ireland & Hampshire Constabulary it is one of only three police services in the United Kingdom to operate a fixed wing aircraft. The current aircraft is a Britten-Norman Islander
Tactical Aid Unit
GMP operates a Tactical Aid Unit which is utilised in crowd control instances. The service has policed notable riots such as the 2001 Oldham race riots, the 2008 UEFA Cup Final riots and the 2011 England riots which affected Salford and Manchester city centre in 2011.
Serious Crime Division
The SCD is a unit of GMP responsible for dealing with serious crimes and providing protection for vulnerable people.
The GMP Counter Terrorism Unit was formed in April 2007 to prevent the spread of terrorism. The city has experienced incidents with the intention to spread terror, such as the 1996 Manchester Bombing. Most recently, the unit helped thwart the 2009 plot to launch a terror attacks on the Trafford Centre, Arndale Centre and nearby St Ann's Square.
Tactical Firearms Unit
Officers of the GMP, as in the rest of Great Britain, do not routinely carry firearms. Instead, the GMP maintains a firearms unit to provide them with a capability to deal with armed criminals. The Greater Manchester Police, Tactical Firearms Unit maintains Armed Response Vehicles, which transport armed officers to the scene. Like some other services, firearms officers carry the Heckler & Koch G36 along with the Heckler & Koch MP5 semi-automatic carbine, Glock 17 pistol, and the X26 Taser.
In 2003 GMP had over 110 dogs. However, this has recently been reduced to only 35 dogs across the service, leaving many areas without a single dog available. The dogs are involved in important operational duties such as tracking, building searches, and other criminal work across Greater Manchester. The majority of general purpose police dogs are German Shepherds, but other breeds are also used, including Rottweilers, Belgian Shepherds and Giant Schnauzers.
The GMP maintains a mounted policing capability. The mounted officers are employed to target crime hotspots and are also seen at many events including demonstrations and the region's football matches. Horses are also used to search inaccessible areas for missing or wanted people. The unit is made up of a team of specialist police officers, skilled grooms and trainers, and 35 horses. The mounted unit is based at Hough End, in Chorlton, and uses horseboxes to transport the horses for duties around Greater Manchester.
GMP has over 650 Special Constables, who are assigned to each of the twelve divisions. Special Constables work alongside their regular counterparts and are mainly assigned to divisions and work within Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs), however some divisions still allow officers to work within response teams when NPT's are not on duty. There are a small number of Special Constables within the Special Operations Department (X – Depart) working within the Road Policing Units (RPU's). In addition there are a number of Special Constables engaged, with support of their employers in "Bus Watch", Hospital Watch" & "Shop Watch". This is where their employer allow the officers paid time, usually 8 hours per month to undertake their Special Constabulary duties at their normal place of work.
Special Constables are normally co-ordinated by the Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary, currently Paul Whitham, and divisional commanders. Under the guidance of the new Chief Constable, it is envisaged that the number of Special Constables within GMP will increase to 1,000 officers, within a 3-year period from 2009.
Video Intelligence Unit
Greater Manchester Police is a partner in the following collaborations:
Uniform and equipment
The normal GMP uniform is now combat-style trousers and a black zipped-neck polo shirt; a high-visibility jacket is worn as necessary. Headgear for male constables and sergeants is a custodian helmet when on foot patrol. The peaked cap has been withdrawn for these ranks with exception to Tactical Aid Unit and Road policing Unit (white-topped peak caps) and ranks of inspector and above. Female officers wear a rounded bowler-style hat. As with other services, GMP traffic officers wear a cap with a white top. Some specialists, such as police dog handlers and firearms officers, wear a blue shirt.
With effect from 1 June 2009, GMP will be adopting a new uniform for operational officers. This will comprise a back zip-neck shirt and straight-leg-style combat trousers. PCSOs will be issued with a light-blue shirt.
Uniformed officers when on duty carry a handheld encrypted Airwave radio (made by Sepura) which makes use of TETRA technology. On their duty belt (or in the case of CID officers, a covert harness) they carry: an expandable baton which has recently been changed from the rigid Monadnock PR-24 Baton to the extendable Monadnock Autolock Baton, CS spray, rigid Hiatt speedcuffs, a first aid pouch (containing medical gloves, CPR mask and antiseptic wipes), and are required to wear a stab/ballistic vest whilst on operational duties.
Standard panda Cars include:
Prisoner Transport Vehicles
Roads Policing Unit Vehicles include:
ANPR Intercept Unit
The Tactical Aid Unit operate a number of Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes Sprinter personnel carriers, which are customised for public order situations and designed to withstand impact from thrown objects and flames.
The Tactical Dog Unit operate Vauxhall Astra Estate Ford Focus Estate Vehicles as well as high performance Vauxhall Vectra Hatchbacks which are used for rapid deployment across the service's divisions.
The Tactical Firearms Unit operate Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes Vito and heavily armoured Land Rover Defender vehicles which are customised for Firearms use. This includes ballistic protection and firearms storage compartments for safe transport.
Greater Manchester Police produce its own newspaper, Brief, which is distributed to thousands of officers, making it one of the largest in circulation. Each 20-page issue has a mix of news about police initiatives, policies and crime successes, in-depth articles on specialist units, social and sports news, and regular features.
Officers killed in the line of duty
GMP incidents and investigations
In 2003, video evidence  emerged documenting racist acts by police trainees and officers, including one member applauding Hitler and another donning a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Flagrant use of racist language to deride other police trainees was also reported.