'Armed police is not the answer' - top cop
ROUTINELY arming police is not necessary and officers must be “prepared to accept risks”, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has said.
In a live webchat, Ch Con Peter Fahy and the region’s police commissioner Tony Lloyd fielded questions from the public.
Asked if giving officers stun guns would help protect them, Mr Fahy said the region’s rates of violent crime and homicide had improved and communities had become less dangerous, despite the high profile murders of Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone by Dale Cregan last September.
“In the case of British policing we use a minimum use of force and reasoning is our greatest weapon,” Mr Fahy said. “In the United States, sadly, murder rates of officers are a lot higher and they are routinely armed. Officers must accept that there are risks involved in their line of work.”
Residents also asked about a lack of police patrols in Bolton and dangerous driving.
A Bolton girl named Chelsea asked why more patrols did not take place in Deane and Daubhill as, she said, motorists routinely jumped red lights, use their phones while driving and drive too fast.
She also said her calls to the non-emergency 101 number were not answered quickly.
Mr Fahy said: “I apologise for the delay in answering calls — the line can become clogged up, although calls are answered within 30 seconds on average.”
“Traffic cameras are our best weapons for tackling motoring offences as it is simply not possible for a police officer to be on patrol in each area all the time.”
Mr Fahy said, despite cuts, that about 100 extra community support officers would be recruited over the coming months.
Eleven months on from the PCC elections, Mr Lloyd assured the public: “My political leanings have no bearing on the everyday functioning of GMP at all and I think it is right that policing should be publicly accountable.”
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