Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith spent today with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to learn more about the work of police officers and discuss the challenges they face.
Reporting to West Didsbury Police Station at 6:45am this morning, Jeff met with David Pester, Superintendent of the South District in Greater Manchester Police for the morning briefing.
Jeff saw various aspects of the work of a police officer from spending time in the Community Operations Room to see the Sergeants handling incoming calls, to meeting the Neighbourhood Policing Team on patrol around south Manchester.
Jeff was invited by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins to spend a day with front-line officers as part of the ‘Give a Day to Policing’ program. The aim of the scheme is to help MPs to better understand the changing role of police officers, build relationships with their local force, and discuss the challenges they face.
Jeff has been urging the Government to invest in Greater Manchester Police after years of cuts. Since 2011, GMP have been forced to cut £186 million from their budget, resulting in a loss of around 2,000 officers – a quarter of their force. £57 million of further cuts have been requested by the Home Office by 2022.
“It was great to spend a day with our local police officers to see first-hand the vital work they do to keep us safe.
After several years of funding cuts, it’s more important than ever that politicians stay connected to the reality on the ground and the immense challenges faced by forces like Greater Manchester Police.
It was a fascinating insight, and I’d encourage my parliamentary colleagues to join in the scheme and spend a day with their local force”
Superintendent David Pester said on Twitter:
“It is great that @JeffSmithetc has accepted @CCIanHopkins invitation to Give a Day to Policing.
The team welcomed Jeff at the 7am briefing at West Didsbury and Jeff will undoubtedly experience the challenges we face daily but also the excellent team spirit.”
Jeff is urging the Home Secretary to invest in Greater Manchester Police after 8 years of cuts, starting a petition on August 21st which has already seen over 100 signatures from local residents.