Police chief releases open letter on enforcing Covid-19 restrictions

The force has spoken out in response to a national newspaper article.

GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins
GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins

It was claimed on Saturday that there were fears Greater Manchester Police (GMP) would not adequately enforce tier three rules in the city-region because the force answers to elected mayor Andy Burnham, who has refused to support the strictest measures being introduced without more financial support being provided.

In response GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins has released an open letter setting out the force's approach to policing the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The statement said: "I wish to clarify that as the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police I am accountable to the Mayor of Greater Manchester and responsible to the people of Greater Manchester, critically I am operationally independent.

"All officers and staff in Greater Manchester Police are accountable to me as Chief Constable. We carry out operational policing without fear or favour and in line with the Police Services code of ethics alongside colleagues across the country.

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"Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, GMP have taken a proportionate response to policing the regulations. Over the last 10 weeks we have had more stringent local restrictions and have maintained this approach, issuing 563 fixed penalty notices for breaches of the regulations.

"It is for local and national politicians to agree the necessary restrictions to keep us all safe. As the Chief Constable I will then ensure my officers and staff enforce these in a proportionate manner alongside our local authority partners.

"I have spoken to the Mayor and the Home Secretary throughout this pandemic. We are all agreed that there needs to be a proportionate level of enforcement to existing regulations. I have had support from both in relation to GMP's approach.

"Importantly, GMP is absolutely committed to keeping the people of Greater Manchester safe and that remains our top priority."