CONCERNS over police response times have been raised after they took 35 hours to respond to an incident in the borough.

Several instances of crime in Crompton, including burglaries and attacks on young girls have received an 'inadequate' response, according to Cllr Rabiya Jiva.

Speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday evening, she stated that she had to personally intervene and has called for changes to be made so that residents receive the correct level of support.

Cllr Jiva said:"I have supported several residents who have been affected by criminality including not only burglaries but also attacks on young girls on the streets of Crompton.

"Unfortunately, in both incidents I found the response from police inadequate.

"Whereby I had personally intervened to provide the residents with the appropriate level of support that you would expect to be given by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

"I am fortunate that I have the skills to do this due to my professional background as I have been a staff member for Lancashire Constabulary for almost 20 years.

"This experience enabled me to identify the lack of resources which impacted on gathering crucial evidence and the offender was known with clear evidence.

"The response time was shocking to say the least, approximately 35 hours it took for GMP to respond to the incident.

"The lack of protocol and processes, timelines of response and general lack of empathy with the victims was absolutely appalling."

Cllr Jiva asked Cllr Nadim Muslim, the cabinet member responsible for crime, if the culture of policing in Bolton could be changed to ensure residents received the highest level of service from preventative measures to post crime care, and how to provide GMP with sufficient resourcing.

Cllr Muslim responded by saying that he had spoken with senior officers within the borough and that they are committed to supporting communities and people safe.

He said that the operation of 999 and 101 calls had been impacted by the pandemic, and that there were significant issues due to the 'horrendous deployment' of the Integrated Operational Policing System, but there had been recent improvements in response times.

Cllr Muslim added: "As GMP focus on a new operating model, amongst their priorities are management of incoming demand and investment in their neighbourhood policing model.

"And the proposed instruction of new roles which will allow frontline officers to be freed up to focus on the issues raised in this question."

He offered to direct further questions to metro mayor Andy Burnham on behalf of cabinet members.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, of GMPs Wigan & Bolton District's said: "GMP understands the impact that a delayed response in responding to 999 or 101 calls at peak times for demand can have on the caller. As a result of significant efforts recently, the average speed of answer on both lines has improved and we are working to improve further still.

"Locally, we also recognise the need to respond to those calls in a timely manner in order to support the caller and any victims of crime in the Bolton area.

"In order to meet the incoming demand appropriately, we constantly risk assess the immediacy of any threat in the call details in order to prioritise our attendance, and we strive to attend all calls in a timely manner with the staff of GMP Bolton remaining totally committed to providing the best quality service across all communities of the borough. 

"I have provided a response to the Bolton cabinet meeting, and we continue to work closely with partners to ensure that we can address any issues together."