Greater Manchester Police officially launched its innovative new online chat service following feedback that more and more people want online services. It is available on their main website at: http://www.gmp.police.uk in the bottom right corner.
The new system has been running as a pilot for the last six months but now the Force is encouraging people to go online when possible and speak to a specially trained advisor at the click of a button instead of picking up the phone.
The world cup, Donald Trump’s visit and the hot weather have all lead to an increase in calls to the police. They work really hard to deal with everything that comes in to them but still need the public to work with them, to think before they call and do everything they can to support each other and keep our communities safe.
A recent weekend saw an unprecedented 8,000 calls to 101 and 999.
The new LiveChat service helps to reduce the pressure and help people contact them faster.
You can use LiveChat between 8am and midnight to:
– Report a crime
– Give police information about their local area
– Get an update on a crime they have already reported
– Ask an advisor anything police related
During the pilot, GMP’s LiveChat saw 14,237 conversations take place for anything from noise complaints and neighbour disputes right up to disclosures of domestic abuse and modern slavery.
Following my email to the Mayor of Greater Manchester I received a telephone call from a Chief Inspector of Greater Manchester Police about the questions I had raised. The call was very positive with some good news on Speeding and Dashcam videos.
Dashcam Footage – Operation Considerate
The main web pages on the GM Police website indicate that video from dashboard cameras (Dashcams) can only be sent in using a physical device and only after a crime has been reported via 999 or 101. However, the Chief Inspector tells me there is a new service available as well that has not yet been widely advertised, only via twitter, Operation Considerate.
The instructions on how to use Operation Considerate is at: http://www.gmp.police.uk/content/triage-category?ReadForm&l2=76596&l3=27969
When you have read the instructions you can report cases of moving traffic offenses to an email address: [email protected]
Please note that you must provide all the information described on the web page and that you will then be sent instructions for how to upload the video itself afterwards.
The very good news on speeding generally is that Greater Manchester is going to begin to issue radar speed guns to some neighbourhood police officers and PCSO’s. Hopefully, resources permitting, the extra chance of being caught speeding will over time make some people think twice before speeding in our area.
Community Speed Watch
The Chief Inspector was also keen to promote Community Speed Watch. I do know that some people are worried about being seen to be policing their neighbours but the Inspector tells me that Community Speed Watches can be especially useful for cut throughs or rat runs where the local community feel that people from other areas are not respecting their safety.
Community Speed Watch is a national scheme where members of the public can be trained to use radar speed detectors. Drivers caught breaking the speed limit cannot be fined but the police write letters to the owners of the vehicles and where there are a number of offenses can use this to show that police enforcement would be beneficial in the area.
If you would be interested in learning more about Community Speed Watch there is a website at https://www.communityspeedwatch.co.uk. Individual sites have to be checked for safety but if you would like to get involved in the Community Speed Watch and create a new watch you can select Create New Group on the left of the website. And, please let us know if you do so we can support you and let others know who may want to join you.
Greater Manchester Police are facing a real-term cut of £6.93m next year, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
Before Christmas the government announced that core funding for police budgets will remain exactly the same as last year. Taking into account inflation, that means Greater Manchester Police will face a real-terms cut of £6.93m.
GM Police Face More Real-Term Cuts
The additional £270m of funding the government claims to be investing in the police nationally depends entirely on local Police and Crime Commissioners raising the police precept in their areas, which the Liberal Democrats have branded a “stealth council tax rise”.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hazel Grove, Jon Twigge commented:
“We have been having quite an anti social behaviour problem here in Hazel Grove over the last few months. The police tell me they don’t have the numbers to get out on the street to stop it quickly. Instead, our hard working local officers have to follow an intelligence led approach which they say does work well but it takes a lot longer. These latest cuts are not going to help!”
Senior police officers have been calling for increases in investment for our police but the Conservative government seem to have ignored them yet again.
Cllr Mark Hunter, leader of Stockport Lib Dem Group said “I’m genuinely shocked that Ministers are ignoring the alarming rise in serious crime with this short-sighted decision.”
The Manchester Mayor is currently developing a new police and crime plan which will set the strategic direction for the police and other organisations with responsibilities for keeping our communities safe. The name of the draft plan is ‘Standing Together: A Plan for police, community safety, criminal justice services and citizens in Greater Manchester’ which reflects the range of people and organisations working together to keep us safe.
The draft plan has been developed by talking to people working in neighbourhoods, those who have been victims of crime and the people who support them, businesses and various organisations active within Greater Manchester’s different communities.
Please visit their website to view the draft police and crime plan and to take part in a short survey to let us know
They don’t ask for your name and so all responses are confidential. The survey will close at midnight on 14 January 2018.
All your responses will be used to finalise the plan, which will be published later in January 2018. If you have any questions about the draft plan, please email [email protected]
We have been suffering from a lot of anti social behaviour here in recent weeks in Hazel Grove with reported incidents of damage too.
Local campaigner Paul Ankers is really concerned about this and backs Lisa Smart’s new crime survey.
Please let us know your views at http://www.lisasmart.org.uk/crime_survey
Stockport Liberal Democrats are calling for action to make it easier to report non-emergency crimes in a motion at Stockport Full Council. If passed, the motion will see Stockport Council writing to Mayor Andy Burnham, who is responsible for policing in Greater Manchester, calling for a review into how the system can be improved.
In 2017 it can’t be right that our only option for reporting non-emergency crimes is to call 101 and wait on the phone – sometimes for an hour or more. Greater Manchester Police’s own figures show that 23% of 101 calls were abandoned in June of this year, up from 17% in May.
“According to the UK Police website 101 is the number to call when it is less urgent than for a 999 call – but that shouldn’t mean you are left hanging without an answer at all”, said Cllr Jon Twigge.
Update: The Lib Dem motion on Thursday night (26/10/2017) passed with an amendment extending it so Stockport Council will be officially writer to the Mayor of Manchester asking him to improve the police 101 line response times.
As rail strikes continue in Greater Manchester the RMT, which represents many rail workers, claims that some unstaffed rail stations could become crime hotspots if plans to remove guards from some trains goes ahead.
The RMT press statement says there are 330 unstaffed stations around the country – around 30 in Greater Manchester. Is it right to intervene asking for guards to be retained or should the deal be left to the rail companies, in theory helping them to keep rail travel costs lower?
Hazel Grove Station
Hazel Grove Station is staffed with the ticket office open till early evening in the week:
The press statement continues:
Although these stations are currently unstaffed, protection and assistance for passengers and the train driver at stations is provided by the Guard who is on all trains.
Northern is planning for at least 50% of services to have no Guards with many lines and routes completely unstaffed. RMT is warning that removing the guard from trains which will then also travel through 330 unstaffed stations will result in a cocktail of dangers where passengers and the train driver are more exposed to crime and anti – social behaviour while disabled and older passengers will not be able to get on and off the train when they wish to.
“No staff on many routes and lines, no staff on the stations and no staff on the trains travelling through these stations means there will be a cocktail of dangers at the locations we have identified which will increasingly become no-go areas for vulnerable passengers and new crime hot spots. At the same time our isolated drivers will be on their own, increasingly exposed to anti-social and violent behaviour.
“As well as these dangers there will be also be disadvantages for disabled and older passengers who require assistance because there will be no one there to help them on and off the train or provide assistance during their journey.
Co-op Insurance have released a study of ex-convicts which show which measures you can take that will deter thieves.
LibDem Campaigner Paul Ankers works for Co-op Insurance but thought the study would be useful for Hazel Grove residents. “Crime is up and local people are concerned. Police and politicians should do more, but it is good to know as a homeowner what I can do.”
|Top 10 deterrents for home thieves:
||Top 10 deterrents for car thieves:
||1. CCTV street camera
|2. Sound of a barking dog
||2. Car alarm
|3. Strong heavy doors
||3. Street Lighting
|4. TV which is switched on
||4. Cars parked on a driveway
|5. Locked UPV windows
||5. Newer car
|6. Cars parked on a driveway
||6. Steering lock device
|7. Overlooked property
||7. Older car
|8. Surrounding fences
||8. Neighbourhood Watch areas
|9. Gates outside the property
||9. Car parked on a dark alleyway
|10. Motion activated security lights
Local LibDem Paul Ankers was alerted by local residents to a couple of road signs abandoned in the ward.*
However, neither Barlow Lane South nor Chestnut Ave are in the ward. Paul has alerted Police and is working with them to identify the culprit or culprits.
Paul Ankers said, “These road signs are paid for by our Council Tax but the thievery is just vandalism. The signs are abandoned on public land.”
*We are not naming the location the signs are dumped at this stage.
A survey by the Liberal Democrats has found that 53% of people who called 101 – the non-emergency Police phone number – gave up before speaking to the Police.
Most people who did get through waited for more than five minutes, with some waiting for 30 minutes or more for the call to be answered.
The scale of the problem was uncovered by Claire Halliwell, Stockport Liberal Democrat spokesperson on crime.
“Thousands of crimes are going unrecorded and people are wasting hours sitting on the phone. It also means the Police are missing half the picture on crime. Important intelligence is being missed, meaning the Police may not be targeting their efforts efficiently,” said Claire.
Hazel Grove LibDem Paul Ankers said, “The cuts are biting, crime is up around here by 20% in the last two years. Cutting funding for the 101 number is a false economy. The public deserve access to policing”