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GMP Federation

GMP Federation open meeting 2019 update

8 February 2019

Operation Custodian, Spit Guards and direct entry were just some of the topics covered at the GMP Federation open meeting on Thursday 7 February.

GMP Federation Chairman Stu Berry took to the stage alongside a panel for an evening of lively and varied debate in front of around 150 guests.

Stu was joined by Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor Beverly Hughes, GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, PFEW Chair John Apter and PFEW Secretary Alex Duncan.

The evening opened with a question from the crowd regarding evening policing of the city centre, known as Operation Custodian. CC Ian Hopkins outlined that the force was doing the best it could with the funding it receives and the force has plans to recruit 320 new officers over the coming year - a step in the right direction to getting force numbers to the 7,000 he would like.

Chairman Stu Berry voiced his preference for a nighttime levy being introduced within the city centre to assist with the policing issues the force currently face.

Direct entry detective roles provided a lively discussion. GMP currently has 150 detective roles unfilled and has announced plans to recruit 50 direct entry detectives. Stu vocalized his opposing views to direct entry, saying: "A massive part of policing is being a police officer. And Direct Entry detectives won’t have any of that."

The meeting heard there needs to be questions asked about why there is detectives crisis in the country – with there being around 5,000 short - and to not necessarily disregard direct entry as a way of combatting what is a “national detectives crisis”. CC Hopkins added that in his view the course would be a two year training programme, so direct entry was slightly misleading.

When the subject of the £350 bonus the Met received on the day of the meeting was broached, the Chiefs answer was a short no, GMP officers would not be receiving this as the force cannot afford it.

Onto Spit Guards, and after some strong points voiced in favour of them, the Chief concluded that he was still hesitant and would need to see “evidence” that police officers need spit guards before he would be willing to fully roll out in force. PFEW Chair John Apter concluded that if the evidence is there and chiefs failed to provide the equipment to keep officers safe, the PFEW would take legal action.

Stu and CC Hopkins agreed when a question was raised around double crewing, with the chief supporting the need for management to be empowered to make these decisions regarding resourcing.

The meeting also spent some time discussing police officer welfare. The meeting heard that 7.1% of GMP’s workforce is currently off work sick, with mental health being a major problem. And that 400 GMP officers go to the Police Treatment Centres every year.

An important point was raised from the floor – there was lots of discussion around helping police officers once they are ill/sick. It was questioned whether enough is being done to stop officers becoming sick/ill in the first place.

CC Hopkins took the time to praise the Federation’s work around wellbeing and supporting officers in getting back to work.


September 2023