Manchester's top cop pledges 'we'll take your cars, cash and homes'

10 September 2021, 15:48

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Stephen Watson has pledged to overhaul the scandal-hit force.
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Stephen Watson has pledged to overhaul the scandal-hit force. Picture: Alamy

By Joe Cook

Manchester's new police chief has pledged a new approach to tackling crime, warning "too many criminals, frankly, are getting away with it".

Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Stephen Watson pledged to overhaul the scandal-hit force in turnaround plans presented to Mayor Andy Burnham.

Criminals will face "dialled-up muscularity" from officers, CC Watson said, including "real ferocity" in tackling organised crime gangs.

"We will take your cars and we will take your cash and we will take your houses," he said.

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The new top cop blamed "a failure of senior leadership" and a culture of "defeatism" at GMP for the poor performance of the force.

"Our people are fed up but they are not defeated," he added. "They are fed up of GMP being slapped about, because of our own poor performance."

In December the second largest force in England was put into special measures by police watchdogs following a damning report that revealed GMP had failed to record 80,000 crimes.

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CC Watston's predecessor Ian Hopkins stepped down after Mr Burnham came under pressure to sack him.

The mayor said he and CC Watson had "faced up" to all the problems and pledged greater scrutiny and oversight of the force.

This will be a "new era" for GMP, he added, without the "defeatism" which he said had characterised the force for 20 years.

CC Watson has previously said people are "fed up" of virtue-signalling from police and that he "absolutely would not" take the knee in uniform, the only exceptions being for "the Queen, God, and Mrs Watson".