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The force says...

Almost 5% of the UK population lives in Greater Manchester. GMP provides policing for a diverse population of 2.8m residents of which over 16% are ethnic minorities. The region has a growing economy, but also districts that are the most deprived in the country. It includes 10 local authorities, each with a unique identity and policing challenges.

There are also 100,000 students and 5 million people live within one hour’s travel. There is a thriving night time economy and over 1,200 public events each year that draw on policing resources.

GMP deals with more priority incidents relative to population than any other force and deals with over 379,300 crimes and antisocial behaviour incidents each year. There have been 30,000 more 999 calls this year than last. There is growing complexity in investigations and safeguarding with 24,600 missing person incidents, 19,000 mental health incidents and 64,000 domestic abuse incidents. GMP is monitoring 3,200 registered sex offenders. The force is tackling 176 organised crime groups and plays a major role in counter-terrorism. GMP is working to improve crime recording, as well as improving confidence in reporting crime to the police, and recorded crime has increased by 10% over the last year.

Today the ratio of police officers to population is 1:445 against 1:334 ratio in 2010. Between 2011/12 and 2016/17 GMP has made savings of £186m. There is an overall workforce of 10,100 together with Special Constables and other volunteers and cadets. GMP has recruited 500 police officers this year to replace retirements and is making the workforce more representative of the community.

Greater Manchester’s Devolution Agreement gives public authorities greater scope to work together. GMP is working with other agencies to deliver more integrated public services and safeguarding across Greater Manchester and meet further anticipated budget savings of £39.8m by 2020.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Greater Manchester Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

Greater Manchester Police provides policing services to the metropolitan area of Greater Manchester. The police force area covers 493 square miles in the north west of England. Although there are areas of great affluence, Greater Manchester has a high level of poverty. Around 2.8 million people live in an urban setting. This major conurbation includes Manchester and Salford, as well as the large surrounding towns. The residential population is ethnically diverse, with 16 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and is increased by very large numbers of university students and the large numbers who visit, socialise in, commute into, or travel through the region. The transport infrastructure includes major rail stations and a major airport.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 8,684 OAs in Greater Manchester with an average size of 15 hectares which is much smaller than the national average of 87 hectares. While the vast majority (75 percent) of OAs in Greater Manchester are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a very smaller proportion (2 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the urban conurbation with few sparsely populated rural areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Greater Manchester has a median house price, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £137,608 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Greater Manchester has 22.7 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 6.6 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 2.1 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of lower value housing and deprivation, with a smaller proportion of acute affluence and high house prices.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales. Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area.  Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

Some 7.2 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Greater Manchester. The highest challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 17.0 percent of Greater Manchester’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 5.2 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Greater Manchester:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is very high compared with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is very high compared with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is higher than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is higher than the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at crimes is broadly in line with the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Greater Manchester we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 8,684 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Greater Manchester has 115 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 10 miles (longest 30 miles and shortest 0.2 miles) and the average travel time of 22 minutes from the centre of the force to each OA are lower than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size and complexity of Greater Manchester and its roads.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Greater Manchester is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the roads are. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed – for example, where police officers are based and their working patterns.