The Shadow Policing Minister has praised the professionalism of Greater Manchester Police and the work of Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd as he visited Greater Manchester to speak to local people about the future of policing.
Jack Dromey MP joined Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle on Operation Network, a major police operation to target mobile phone theft across Greater Manchester. He addressed more than 300 police officers before accompanying them on raids across Greater Manchester, which resulted in 17 arrests and the recovery of cash and stolen goods.
Mr Dromey and Jim then joined Tony and met with local people and local organisations in Manchester and Rochdale to discuss the future of policing, including building on the neighbourhood policing model that has put police officers at the heart of communities.
Mr Dromey said: “Operation Network truly was British policing at its best, with Greater Manchester Police using intelligence from neighbourhood policing teams to track down those responsible for theft of mobile phones and education the people of Greater Manchester to ensure their phones are more secure.
“Meeting with local people and organisations is really important because British policing is at a crossroads. Over the past 20 years we have seen across Britain and here in Greater Manchester the highly effective model of neighbourhood policing, which is in essence local policing with roots in local communities engaging with local people.
“It’s what people want and it’s also proved to be effective bringing crime down over many years. But as a consequence of the major cuts to policing we are seeing the thin blue line being stretched ever thinner. Across the UK 10,000 police officers have been cut from the front line, with more than a thousand in Greater Manchester already gone. We’ve also seen the fabric of partnership working being stretched even further. As a consequence there are disturbing signs that after a generation of progress crime is beginning to rise.”
Tony added: “Policing is facing massive challenges, not least the reckless budget cuts that are threatening the safety of our communities. The future of the police service is at a critical phase and it’s important these issues are taken seriously at the highest levels.
“That’s why it was really valuable to welcome Jack Dromey to Greater Manchester to see the positive work we are doing to build safer communities and, importantly, hear from Greater Manchester residents about what they want from their police service and involve them in shaping local policing.”