By Paul Bailey
This question goes to the very heart the role of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). I will explain. Over the years I have raised the issue of holding the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy to account. I highlighted the following area to the commissioner:
(1) Hold Chief Constables accountable on the implementation of anti-racism practice
(2) Ensure Police & Crime Panels reflect the diversity within the policing area
(3) Ensure that Chief Constables include within their Policing Plans, an anti-racism stance including a commitment to end racial profiling where it may exist
(4) Properly and consistently scrutinise Chief Constables on compliance with anti-racist and equality legislation
(5) Consult widely with diverse communities and reflect their needs and concerns within agreed policing plans.’
I received a response from other candidates; Matt Gallagher wrote “I am very happy to sign up to these pledges” I never did hear from Tony Lloyd.
I have complained to the PCC about cronyism and corruption within GMP. To date, he [Tony Lloyd] has not launched a single investigation arising from my complaints and has resorted to avoidance. Mr Lloyd has been unable, however, to avoid the continuing negative media about the force and Sir Peter Fahy. GMP has, in my opinion, suffered the worst period of negative publicity exposure in living memory under the watch of Sir Peter.
On 10th July 2014 Sir Peter was in the media at least twice. First of all the MEN suggested that Sir Peter is likely to be formally notified that he is subject of an IPCC investigation arising from the disposal parts of Harold Shipman’s victims. The article also stated that the IPCC is also considering allegations of corruption and cronyism; sound familiar. Sir Peter is described as being ‘relaxed’ about the probe; I doubt that the victims in this case are relaxed about it.
The second article, also in the MEN, spoke about Sir Peter pleading not guilty to health and safety breaches after the fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger in March 2012. Have we forgotten that Sir Peter has already pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) under which an employer has a duty to protect its employees at work arising from the fatal shooting of PC Ian Terry; the force being subsequently fined £166 thousand pounds.
Not to mention that it has been reported that Sir Peter mislead the public by changing a report that stated that GMP was still institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic and disablist. I understand that Tony Lloyd received a complaint about Sir Peter’s alteration of the report that to my knowledge was not recorded or investigated but written off as a ‘vexatious complaint.’ How can anyone believe the commissioner when he states that he welcomes the IPCC report into GMP that revealed that between 2005 and 2012 the force investigated 519 public complaints of racial discrimination upholding exactly zero.
More recently Sir Peter has attracted media attention by dressing up in women’s clothing during a charity event in the same month as publicising The College of Policing’s, Code of Ethics report, that sets and defines the exemplary standards of behaviour for everyone who works in policing. The report reminds police officers and staff of their responsibility to act professionally at all times. Don’t get me wrong; we all have the right to dress up as we please but if Sir Peter had dressed in this manner as joke I for one did not find it in the least amusing. I find Sir Peter’s pouting lips [from the photograph] particularly interesting. What can we look forward to next year; Sir Peter dressed in a grass skirt, a sari perhaps or as a black and white minstrel?
The commissioner seems to be silent on these issues at a time that we need to see strong and decisive action from him. At the end of the day Tony Lloyd is an elected official who should be accountable to the communities of Greater Manchester. It is therefore our right as citizens of Greater Manchester to hold Tony Lloyd to account.