11 May 2022
Greater Manchester Police Federation has praised the “tenacity, courage, professionalism and resilience” of two officers who it supported through an IOPC investigation, which has now vindicated them.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the actions of the officers prior to and immediately following a serious collision in Wigan has found the officers involved acted appropriately throughout.
GMP Federation Rep Brett Grange was on hand to help the officers after a man on what was suspected to be a stolen e-bike collided with a signpost following a police chase, and then made a complaint about the officers.
Brett said: “There had been a recent spate of off-road motorcycle crashes in Greater Manchester, without any police involvement, that ended up in either terrible injuries or sadly someone losing their life.
“Officers from the Specialist Operations department conduct patrols on off-road motorcycles to reduce criminality, but also to prevent these serious crashes. However, as we all know, policing isn’t straightforward, and risk lies around every corner.
“These two officers saw a group on off-road motorcycles, who resembled a report of anti-social behaviour in that area, so they tried to stop the riders to prevent them being a risk to themselves and other road users.
“Unfortunately, despite clear signs that they were police officers, the rider did not stop and a pursuit started.”
The officers tried to stop the rider several times, and eventually the rider mounted a pavement and crashed into a signpost, sustaining head injuries. The officers gave him first aid while they waited for an ambulance.
Brett continued: “The IOPC conducted enquiries that vindicated the officers and showed that the complaint made against them was factually incorrect.
“The professionalism of the officers in tackling this behaviour, giving first aid and doing the right thing while having vexatious complaints made about them, only reaffirms the admiration we have for our colleagues.
“The calm and methodical presentation of the truth is what won the day.”
Brett added: “The officers in question continued to serve the public throughout this period despite being under immense pressure when their integrity was being questioned. They deserve the most credit and respect.”
GMP Federation Chair Lee Broadbent said: “We should expect to be held accountable for our actions. But it’s worth highlighting that the vast majority of complaints against police officers result in learning or no further action being taken, which is testament to the professionalism our members display every day.
“Split-second decisions based upon a desire to bring criminals to justice and protect our communities are often quickly judged by the uninitiated in the court of social media and further picked apart in the months and in some cases years that follow by our regulatory bodies.
“It’s for these very reasons that the full-time Federation team at Progress House, supported by some of the best legal minds in the county, are on standby, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to support our colleagues and ensure they have the best advice and protection from the outset.
“I’d like to thank the IOPC for coming to a relatively swift conclusion on this matter and also personally thank the officers involved for the tenacity, courage, professionalism and resilience shown both at the original incident and throughout this investigation.”