Trainee cops from Qatar will be on the beat in Wigan in the coming weeks as part of a lucrative training contract for Greater Manchester Police.
Dozens of officers from the Gulf state are due to start a six- week course observing their UK counterparts and learning approaches to community policing.
“Spending time with us will enable Qatari police cadets and see first-hand how we work with the community, enabling them to think differently about how they can deliver policing in Qatar to become more community focussed.”Chief Constable Ian Hopkins
Force bosses faced criticism last year when the deal was revealed due to Qatar’s poor record on human rights. But police commissioner Tony Lloyd said the decision to approve the contract “was not taken lightly”.
Local police have been paid £200,000 for setting up the training programme and will receive a further £887 per student per week.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “We’re really proud of the British policing model and are happy to work alongside the Qatari police service to help them develop and improve their policing service.
“Spending time with us will enable Qatari police cadets and see first-hand how we work with the community, enabling them to think differently about how they can deliver policing in Qatar to become more community focussed.”
Mr Lloyd said: “Because of Qatar’s lamentable human rights record, I did not take the decision to approve this contract lightly, and made sure to consult widely not least with the Independent Ethics Committee. On balance it is an appropriate and ethical step to take. If we can educate and improve policing in other countries, for the good of its citizens, then that should be welcomed.”
Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer criticised the move. “That regime has been responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand workers,” said Mr Stringer.
“GMP needs to look very carefully at who it is training.”