90 days from today is Thu, 28 December 2023
20 November 2018
We Need More Officers
The past few months have seen relentless pressure on GMP with warm weather, the World Cup and many things increasing our workload.
We had some days that were busier than New Year’s Eve, which is almost unheard of.
A big thank you to everyone for doing what they could to get us through those difficult days in June and July.
I have spoken at length to the media about the challenges that we face in policing. It isn’t just about the numbers of calls we receive and that those calls are increasing.
Every time we go to a call or pick up the phone we are facing some hugely complex cases. From cybercrime to child sexual exploitation, we can face anything at any time.
But still the cases of burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour are happening in the communities we are trying to protect.
Within the discussion with the media, I have stressed that we need an increase in police officer numbers – otherwise people will have to accept that there are limits to what we can do.
It is a difficult argument as we know people have sympathy, but they are also still feeling financial constraints in their own lives.
For the moment, we have to accept that our budget is being continually stretched and wait to see what happens in the Government’s budget announcement later this year.
Staff Engagement Survey
Despite all these challenges, I am delighted that the results of the staff engagement survey show that things are improving.
More than half of the Force completed the survey, which is 5,600 people, and every measure has improved since the last survey in 2016.
Our commitment to public service is significant and it is this commitment that we need to focus on as we balance the demands and try to provide the best service we can.
The survey also showed staff felt they had a voice and could be heard, and that people felt there is ethical leadership.
The results are positive but at the same time we have sickness levels that are unacceptably high. There are pressures and we do need more staff, as I have mentioned, but we also have to make sure that everyone who can be at work is at work.
We can help people who need support but it also means challenging those people who are avoiding work. It is vital that we are all working together focused on helping people across Greater Manchester.
(More details of the survey results are being provided locally in the coming weeks.)
Dealing With Demand
The demands on policing are not going to reduce any time soon. We have a significant amount of work underway to look at how we deal with the demand that comes in but it is up to us all to do our bit.
It means getting this right first time, ensuring we are not duplicating work and making sure our interactions with people are professional, friendly, and efficient – and leave a positive impression.
We need the public’s support and we will only maintain this by ensuring every contact we have is positive – and even when we are pressured we have to be our best.
It is the little things that can have the biggest impact.
Remembering to leave contact cards, providing points of contact for victims of crime, providing details of the progress of cases, and explaining what is happening so they understand the process are all vital for us to do.
We have a huge amount of public support. It has been obvious in the comments I have received since I highlighted some of our challenges to the local media.
People understand we are stretched and under pressure, but they will still be calling on us when they are in their hour of need and how we respond will define whether that support continues.