Safer Stronger

Funding for improvements to GMP agreed

The Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel has unanimously agreed to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s proposal to increase the police precept for 2022/23 to fund improvements to policing by 83p per month for a Band D property or 55p per month for a Band A property – which the majority of council taxpayers in the city-region pay (45 percent).

The proposed precept increase is needed to help make up for many years of funding cuts that has hollowed out GMP. Between 2011-19, the Government cut the grant they provide to GMP in real terms by £215 million, which has resulted in 2,000 fewer police officers, 1,000 fewer support staff and devastating cuts to other essential resources.

The Panel is made up of elected representatives from across all ten of Greater Manchester’s councils as well as independent members, chaired by Councillor Janet Emsley. The panel’s role is to scrutinise the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor who have Police and Crime Commissioner responsibilities and that includes agreeing the police precept – the police element of council tax.

The precept increase, along with the central Government policing grant, will fund:

  • The transformation of the GMP contact centre that deals with 999 and 101 calls. The investment will increase staffing levels and flexibility to ensure calls are answered quickly and police officers are sent to those in need immediately.
  • 438 additional police officers, with 60 of them dedicated to road safety which will allow travel safe officers to focus on other policing such as public transport safety.
  • Continuation of the new Operation Avro days of action. These days which will take place in each area of Greater Manchester will see a surge of officers and specially trained teams dealing with issues communities tell GMP they want to see dealt with.
  • A community messaging system that Neighbourhood Policing Teams will use to inform local communities about what they are doing and that the public can use to get more involved in working with local police officers to identify issues of concern within the locality.

The current police precept for a Band D property is £218.30 which would increase next year to £228.30 a year and a Band A property will go up from £145.53 to £152.20. 

Even with the increase, the Greater Manchester police and crime precept will remain one of the 10 lowest out of the 42 police and crime areas of England.

Over this financial year, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Beverley Hughes, have sought to address the concerns raised by HMICFRS in their inspection of GMP in December 2020. Under a new Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, who took office in May, there is a new improvement plan and there has already been significant progress in terms of performance including reducing the average answer time for 999 calls, 55 percent reduction in the waiting list for incidents to be dealt with and a focus on arresting more criminals.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Last year, I made the decision not to increase the police precept by the maximum amount allowed. This was because I wanted to send a clear message to GMP that improvements were needed following a difficult inspection.

“Under our new Chief Constable, we are beginning to see real change and, in my judgment, this is the time to back him, his plan and our police force. 

“This increase in the precept will help us to deliver a transformation of GMP’s contact centre, including improvements to the handling of 999 and 101 calls, to give the public the confidence that their calls will be dealt with swiftly and officers sent immediately to those in need.

“I wish to thank the members of the Police, Crime and Fire Panel for their unanimous support at today’s meeting and the Greater Manchester public for their ongoing support.”

Chair of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, Janet Emsley, said: “The Panel agreed to endorse the Mayor’s proposal to increase the police precept because we believe it is right that our police have the resources they need to do the job we expect them to do and make the improvements HMICFRS has asked of them. We want the public to have confidence in policing in Greater Manchester so we need to give them the tools to do that and keep our Community safe.”



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Article Published: 31/01/2022 19:16 PM