9 November 2020
“Simply a stupidity contest in Manchester City Centre… those individuals have increased the risk of this disease for themselves, the wider public and my colleagues…”
Statement from GMP Federation Chairman Stu Berry after a number of officers were injured responding to a large gathering in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester City Centre on Sunday.
Stu said: “The scenes witnessed in Manchester this weekend were simply a stupidity contest with approximately 600 participants.
“Those individuals have increased the risk of this disease for themselves, the wider public and my colleagues despite the scientific advice and legislated lockdown.
“Several officers were injured for simply trying to protect the public and I condemn the actions of those present in the strongest possible terms.
“The time and resources required to make 4 arrests and issue 24 fixed penalty notices whilst facilitating the demands of a large scale event has deprived the people of Manchester of valuable police resources and funding which could have been deployed elsewhere within our communities.
“I would urge the public to support and assist us during this extremely difficult time and thank the overwhelming majority who continue to adhere to this guidance.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain said: “Both the organisers and attendees were irresponsible - increasing demand on police who are also responding to calls regarding serious incidents and people who are in immediate danger across Greater Manchester.
"Before and during this gathering, officers followed guidance to engage with the organiser and attendees, explain the restrictions and encourage compliance. Unfortunately, the encouragement was ignored which resulted in officers progressing to enforcement.
“Whilst responding to this gathering, a number of officers were injured. This is unacceptable behaviour towards our officers who were simply doing their job and protecting people. Investigators will now work to identify those responsible and ensure they face justice.”