Police cuts anger

Date published: 21 January 2014

COUNCIL leader Jim McMahon has criticised a plan that will leave Oldham without its current police chief.

Greater Manchester Police is cutting some of its highest-ranking officers to save money - but Councillor McMahon said making one chief superintendent responsible for both Oldham and Tameside will “undo a decade of good work”.

Councillor McMahon said he was disappointed at the worrying lack of consultation with local councils before a decision was made. He has requested an urgent meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd, to voice his concerns.

The shock decision was relayed by letter to local authority chief executives by GMP chief constable, Sir Peter Fahy. It means the number of chief superintendents in charge of the 10 divisions of Greatr Manchester will halve..

Tameside and Oldham will be led by Caroline Ball - appointed Oldham’s first female chief supt in 2005 and currently in charge at Tameside.

After four years, Oldham’s current chief supt, Catherine Hankinson, will take over at South Manchester:.

“This is the harsh reality and a sign of the times,” she said.

The chiefs had to make a decision. This is the most sensible way to still manage the risk and demand, yet reduce our numbers.” The change will take effect from March 3.

Councillor McMahon told Mr Lloyd he was puzzled about GMP’s strategic direction: “If the priority is greater partnership working then the police actually need to invest in resources at a senior level, not reduce,” he wrote.

“There is a real danger that the lack of senior leadership linked to local authority boundaries will distance the police, which will undo over a decade of good work.”