The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), has admitted that there were “significant failures” in the force that contributed to the deaths that took place following the radical Islamic terror attack at Manchester Arena in 2017.
After the release of official investigation findings about the handling of the attack by law enforcement, Chief Constable Stephen Watson stated that 22 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.
“The detailed report we received this morning contains the very detailed summation and findings of Sir John Saunders. It is an example of the care he took to fulfill its purpose. “We recognize that many aspects in the most recent published volume will be difficult and distressing for those most affected,” said Chief Constable Watson in the statement. The full statement can be found on GMP’s website.
“I accept the conclusions of Sir John Saunders, Chair… Our coordination of the response was insufficient,” said the senior officer.
“We failed to plan efficiently and execution of what had been planned was not satisfactory. Our actions were largely inadequate and did not meet the expectations of the public.
“I apologise for this.”
Chief Constable Watson, who was not the leader of GMP during this attack, went on to say that the force’s failure to exercise proper command and control of the incident from the beginning undermined an effective multiagency response to a terrible set of circumstances.
“We didn’t take advantage of the lessons from previous exercises that could have helped reduce the impact or burden on the Force Duty officer.” He said that poor communication, poor planning, inept training, and a lack of strategic leadership were all factors in our failure.
All of these failures could and should have been identified and addressed through the use of robustly designed training exercises, which are offered under the auspices our Local Resilience Forum. These were great opportunities, but they were not taken advantage of.
He admitted that GMP’s failures together were “sadly” fatal and had contributed to the death of many people.
The mea culpa seems far more open-ended than other similar “lessons have be learned” admissions of failures by multiple British police force, including GMP on mostly Muslim grooming and rape gangs. However, there are still some commonalities in that no indication has been given that any former or current officer will actually face substantial punishment, such as sacking, loss or pursuit of criminal charges.
Steven Heywood, Assistant Chief Constable responsible for counter-terrorism during the attack, received a medal.
According to Russ Jackson’s LinkedIn page, he was the “operational leader for Counter Terrorism Policing North West” at that time. He also received a medal over the years after the attack.
GMP has not yet responded to Breitbart London’s question about Heywood, Jackson or other officers who were in leadership positions during the counter-terrorism bombing. The Independent Office for Police Conduct will now be referred for investigation by the IOPC.