Why GMP’s battle back from the brink could depend on one of these people
1 week ago
Wanted: A top cop to rescue the reputation of a massive police force from a string of high-profile disasters.
When mayor Andy Burnham office places an ad on the recruitment pages for a new chief constable of GMP later this month, it probably won’t use such words, but not many would argue with him if it did.
The force is at its lowest point.
Former chief constable Ian Hopkins was forced out of his £200,000-a-year job just before Christmas following a series of calamities, most tellingly that government inspectors had been through the books and estimated 80,000 crimes hadn’t been recorded in one year.
The force’s new computer system, Integrated Operational Policing System (iOPS), has been dogged by problems since it was switched on at a cost of £27m in July 2019, some 19 months behind schedule.
And, since the new system went live, the force has been absent from all Home Office reported crime statistics.
The revelations follow years of Manchester Evening News readers complaining of a poor response to everyday crime – and have left GMP’s image in tatters, amongst senior officers, in other parts of the country.
One told the M.E.N: “That force is an injured wildebeest, wandering across the plains, waiting to be picked off by the criminals.”
The recruitment of a new chief constable is yet to begin in earnest, although it is believed Mr Burnham’s office is set to appoint a firm of head-hunters to help appoint the right person.
Factoring in the ad, application process and then interviews, GMP probably won’t have a new leader until the spring.
But, inside senior police officer circles, a number of names are already emerging.
Top cops at forces all over the country are being talked up as potential candidates, among them a former special constable, an ex Navy man and a number of GMP alumni.
Since its inception in 1973, GMP has had six chief constables, all of them men.
Could that be about to change? Although they are considered outside bets, three senior women police officers are considered credible potential candidates.
One is Vanessa Jardine , who was appointed deputy chief constable of West Midlands Police in June.