What do you want? Justice! When do you want it? When it is politically convenient and certainly not until after the Police and Crime Commissioner election!
Andy Burnham’s argument is that the report he himself commissioned - should only be published several weeks after the new Chief Constable begins his role - which just happens to be weeks after the mayoral election. I’m a little surprised that the four years he has had as Mayor and as a former Shadow Home Secretary that he did not know right at the beginning that there were significant problems with GMP and to begin the process of taking action to resolve them. Most people would have expected him to hit the ground running and to have the Home Secretary step in and ensure we are given all the support we need locally.
Whilst frontline police officers are doing the best job they can, they are being held back and undermined by those at the top. The most important job the Mayor has is that of Police and Crime Commissioner, but Mr Burnham is not providing the leadership residents need and that frontline police officers deserve.
Any organisation, especially one as large as Greater Manchester Police, needs strong leadership and, by accepting the job of Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Burnham must surely believe that it is his job to ensure that he delivers safe streets, town centres and public parks.
Only last November did Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary write a damning report into the failures of GMP and said that 80,000 crimes, including sexual assault, had not been recorded and were not acted upon. Since then, it has been revealed that thousands of more crimes were ‘kept off the books.’ This has left the police unable to do their jobs properly and the public have been left more vulnerable to criminals who have never been arrested, tried, and imprisoned.
Only after the London based HMIC decided enough was enough was it that the PCC, Andy Burnham, took some action. This led to the then Chief of Police to be side-lined but not sacked. You, the taxpayer, are still paying the wages of the former Chief of Police. You will be paying until after the mayoral election.
Mr Burnham had been making a big statement about how he is no longer a London based politician but, when it comes to the crunch, London and Westminster have to step in to clear up the mess that he has been brewing over his four years as Mayor.
Yes, Mr Burnham has been in charge for four years. It is amazing how fast time is flying by and equally amazing how little progress has been made. A principle reason for a lack of progress and delivery is his repeated decisions to delay and not take personal responsibility.
The latest delayed report cost over £300,000 of your money that could have gone on front line policing but has instead been spent on management consultants. The report is finished and ready to be published but Andy Burnham has made the decision to wait until after his re-election.
Surely, in a healthy democracy, you need to know what is in that report before the election. The police need to know what is in the report now so that they can act immediately to protect the public and restore confidence.
After four years as Police and Crime Commissioner we should have been expecting a report before the election of his successes but instead we must draw the obvious conclusions to why action is only going to be taken after the election.
Law and order is the number one concern for my residents but the Mayor for Manchester is not looking after our interests on other key issues. Many of us are concerned about protecting our green spaces but, after four years of Mr Burnham’s leadership, we are no further in delivering the GMSF plan that will give it the protection it needs.
Mr Burnham has now only just published his plan for the buses but would it not have been better if he had acted sooner and already had any improvements in place.
There has been years of dither and delay when we needed action so the time for change is on the 6th May.