Greater Manchester Police are two hours into a 24 hour experiment in publishing details of every incident that it deals with on Twitter to allow the public to see what officers at one of the largest UK forces face on a daily basis.
Running from 5am this morning, Chief Constable Peter Fahy wants to show the public the complexities of modern policing, which often aren’t fully appreciated.
This comes as police face unprecedented budget cuts, putting them under even more pressure to deliver an effective policing service.
Chief Constable Fahy said: “Policing is often seen in very simple terms, with cops chasing robbers and locking them up. However the reality is that this accounts for only part of the work they have to deal with.
GMP is currently looking at making sweeping budgets cuts of up to £7 million. Around 85% of the overall budget goes on staff costs but Chief Constable Peter Fahy has promised that any job losses would be made among backroom staff rather than frontline officers.
“A lot of what we do is dealing with social problems such as missing children, people with mental health problems and domestic abuse. Often these incidents can be incredibly complex and need a lot of time, resource and expertise.
“I am not saying that we shouldn’t deal with these types of incidents, far from it, but what I am saying is that this work is not recognised in league tables and measurements – yet is a huge part of what we do.
“I think that it’s time to start measuring performance in a different way. There needs to be more focus on how the public sector as a whole is working together to tackle society’s issues and problems.
“We see time and again the same families, the same areas and the same individuals causing the same problems and these people are causing a considerable drain to the public purse.
“Instead of the public sector organisations having separate pots of money we could spend it more efficiently it were one big pot. This could be achieved by working together more effectively, by joining up and sharing the responsibility of the issues that we are all dealing with.”