“No Confidence” in Andy Burnham’s handling of Greater Manchester Police

Andy Burnham faces a vote of no confidence in his failed leadership of Greater Manchester Police, after Oldham’s Liberal Democrat group put forward a motion challenging his management of the force.

In the review of historic child sex exploitation in Oldham, GMP refused to sign a data processing agreement to let the review team have access to information on nine of the 11 cases.

Earlier this month, the Met police were issued with a damning report which found systemic racism and misogyny, and that hundreds of officers in the Met should be kicked out of the force. A freedom of information request from Oldham Liberal Democrats to GMP revealed that the equivalent information was not available from GMP, but that there were a minimum of 1,400 cases from 2017.

Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, who represents Saddleworth West and Lees, said: “If GMP cannot even provide the information on the same issues that the Met police has been condemned for, that says a lot about the way they are being run from the top.

“While GMP has emerged from special measures – meaning it is now at the bare minimum accepted level – there is a record of mismanagement at the highest level that can only be placed at the door of Andy Burnham and Bev Hughes.”

GMP was in special measures for nearly two years. It was warned about its failure to support victims of domestic abuse in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021. During that time, there have been three chief constables, and the entire senior leadership of the force has been replaced, with the exception of Andy Burnham and his deputy Bev Hughes.

Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “People in Oldham are sick and tired of their not being enough officers in their neighbourhood. GMP do not provide local data on crimes – and at the Police Accountability Meeting last week confirmed that they have no intention of doing so. People don’t know what the police are doing in their neighbourhood – they only know that they can’t see officers there.”

The Liberal Democrat group have also slammed “Burnham’s broken promises” on neighbourhood policing. Speaking in support of the motion, fellow Saddleworth West and Lees councillor, Mark Kenyon said, “Mayor Burnham trumpeted a return to Neighbourhood Policing, bobbies on the beat of every ward in Greater Manchester back in 2020. Oldham doesn’t have that. Neighbourhood officers are regularly redeployed to other parts of the service, meaning neighbourhood policing is often massively reduced or just non-existent.”

The Liberal Democrat motion will be voted on by Oldham Council on Wednesday 2nd November.

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