Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 10:30 UK

Greater Manchester Police 'turns around performance'

Peter Fahy, chief constable Greater Manchester Police
Peter Fahy said it would take time to "turn the tanker around"

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has cut crime to its lowest level for 10 years - three months after admitting it was "under-performing".

The force began a 90-day plan to lower crime levels in January after concerns were raised about some of its figures.

But according to its statistics, there was a 12.7% reduction in overall crime between March 2009 and April 2010.

Ch Con Peter Fahy told the BBC he was pleased but admitted more needed to be done to "turn the tanker around".

In January, it emerged that GMP was being monitored by the Police Performance Steering Group, a panel which includes officials from the Home Office and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, (HMIC).

Previous figures showed that certain crimes, such as burglary and robbery, were still high compared with other areas of the country.

But according to the most recent statistics released by the force, this is starting to turn around.

Areas of crime reduction
Domestic burglary - 15.2%
Vehicle crime - 19.3%
Violence against the person - 9.2%
Robbery - 14.9%

Among the highest fall was gun crime, which the force said had "significantly reduced" with the number of shots fired down 27.4% - the lowest for eight years.

It follows GMP's self-imposed action plan which involved putting more officers on the streets, targeting crimes - such as burglary, car crime and robbery - and focusing on crime hot spots.

Mr Fahy told the BBC that some of the success was down to targeting "persistent, chaotic offenders" and "getting them back into custody as soon as possible".

"Most of the people released from prison unfortunately go to live in those [hot spot] areas so we have to make sure we are target those areas with other agencies," he said.

Past disappointment

Despite the improvement, Mr Fahy said he was more concerned with ensuring that people in the region got "good customer service" from his officers.

"Statistics are great but what I'm really bothered about is that day to day experience.

"There has been a long history, for better or worse, of under performance in GMP and it will take a long time to turn the tanker around."

One of the force's critics has been Greater Manchester Police Authority chairman Paul Murphy.

He said: "In the past it is no secret that we have expressed disappointment in performance and demanded improvement and it is pleasing to see that the latest figures show policing in Greater Manchester is moving in the right direction and showing improvement.

"There is however more to do and we cannot and will not be complacent."

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