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‘Victims of crime need better service from the police’ Greater Manchester Mayor admits

It comes as a high-profile campaign against sexual harassment is launched at the start of a 10-year strategy.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has admitted police are still letting victims down as a ‘high profile’ campaign to tackle day-to-day sexual harassment in Greater Manchester was launched.

Mr Burnham has vowed to make gender-based violence a ‘big focus’ of his in the new year which he wants to be a ‘watershed’ moment.

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But as Mr Burnham unveiled his campaign questions about standards at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) emerged.

What was said about Greater Manchester Police in relation to gender-based violence?

Mr Burnham, who together with deputy mayor Baroness Bev Hughes, oversees policing across the city-region admitted that victims of crime deserve a better service.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that there are currently around 2,000 outstanding suspects of domestic abuse in Greater Manchester.

Months after a report by inspectors into Greater Manchester Police found the force was still failing vulnerable victims, the mayor said “things are improving”.

He said: “We need to change policing and we’ve spent a year since the original HMIC report changing policing in Greater Manchester and asking for much better for victims of crime.

GM Mayor Andy Burnham

“Things are improving. They’re probably not where they need to be yet, but absolutely, there has been a significant change over the last 12 months.”

The comments were made at a press conference on Thursday (16 December) following the first meeting of the Greater Manchester Gender-Based Violence Board which includes victims and survivors of violence among its members.

Baroness Hughes said GMP is “nowhere near where it needs to be” and criticised the lack of professionalism by some officers.

She said: “I’ve watched some body worn videos. You might say it’s surprising that the police officer knows the camera’s on.

“But when you see the footage, you can see that it’s not satisfactory the way that some people are being talked to.

Baroness Beverley Hughes. Photo: Martin Rickett/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

“This is top of the agenda now in terms of police performance on domestic abuse and rape and serious sexual offences. But it will take some time.”

The deputy mayor said that 96% of incidents are being recorded properly, an improvement since an inspector’s report last year which found that more than a fifth of reported crimes are never recorded – including one in four for violent offences.

Mr Burnham said more government money for GMP next year should help put the police officers in place to deal with crimes properly.