THE Deputy Mayor of Manchester has been re-appointed for a second term.

Bev Hughes has committed to protecting communities, tackling inequality, and building a strong, transparent police force - as her appointment was confirmed for a second term by the city region's police and crime panel.

During her first term, the Deputy Mayor has ‘invested millions in community safety initiatives, transformed support services for vulnerable victims of crime and enabled the recruitment of 667 additional police officers’.

But she also came under fire after an inspectors' report found 80,000 crimes had gone unrecorded across Greater Manchester in a year.

Mrs Hughes said: “The last few years have seen unprecedented challenge. Those we lost in the arena attack are forever at the forefront of my mind, and as the public inquiry continues, I know this is a difficult time for many.

“Amid the tragedy, the solidarity of Greater Manchester shone through, and it is this community spirit and strength that has been a key driver of my work and will continue to be. That same community spirit has continued to shine throughout the pandemic, as communities rallied together to help and support those who needed it most.”

Police recruitment has increased by 667, with another 325 officers planned this year.

This includes a named, contactable local police officer and police community support officer for every resident of Greater Manchester, and the establishment of a dedicated unit to keep people safe on the public transport network.

The Deputy Mayor added: “I’m also committed to tackling inequality across our city-region, working with local people as we seek to build back better from the pandemic.

“I’m particularly passionate about gender equality and tackling gender-based abuse, which is pervasive in our society and must be eradicated.

“In the next few weeks, we will launch a formal consultation on our 10-year plan to prevent abuse and violence against women and girls and challenge the attitudes and inequalities that enable it.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham added: “It has been a very challenging four years for our fire and police services.

“Now, as we look towards a new era for Greater Manchester Police, I am confident we have an outstanding leader in the incoming Chief Constable Stephen Watson.

“Progress has already been made to address the problems within the force, but we are clear that more needs to be done, including strengthening neighbourhood policing and improving the 101 service.

“The level of scrutiny and accountability the Deputy Mayor has provided is of a level beyond what people may realise and we will continue to strengthen that public scrutiny and accountability going forward.”