Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said â€œMuch has been written and said this week about Manchester City Centre and the safety of those that visit the City particularly at night and into the early hours of the morning. Ian Hanson the Chair of Greater Manchester Police Federation is right to question the demands made on the police in dealing with a vibrant and expanding City centre. Greater Manchester Police has reduced by 1000 officers and will reduce by a further 1000 to meet the budget challenges we face, yet at the same time demands on the service are increasing. The City centre is growing rapidly, which is fantastic, but with this comes greater challenges for those of us responsible for ensuring public safety (GMP, Manchester City Council and its leading Councillors Manchester’s Pub and Club network) at a time when all public services are facing significantly reduced budgets.
â€œManchester City Centre attracts large numbers of people to visit its many pubs, clubs, bars and entertainment venues and at the weekend this can mean in excess of 100,000 people in the City Centre. Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council are concerned about the levels of alcohol consumption and the challenges this then presents with people leaving themselves very vulnerable. Greater Manchester Police and the City Council both agree that more funding is required to manage the City Centre and that the alcohol industry is making a significant profit from the sale of alcohol, some of that has to be channelled into frontline services.
â€œThere is a very strong partnership approach between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council to tackling these problems. I have met with the Deputy Leader of the Council Bernard Priest and Councillor Pat Karney and there is a real commitment to accelerating proposals already being considered in relation to alcohol treatment centres, improved transport away from the City Centre in the early hours of the morning, restricting the opening hours of any problematic licensed premises and raising additional funds for frontline services.
â€œManchester City centre has significantly more visitors than other cities up and down the country, but the challenges we all face with managing the night time economy are no different in Manchester to Liverpool, Sheffield or Leeds. Although we disagree with Ian Hanson is that Manchester is a dangerous place, we all agree that Manchester is a fantastic City and that we all want to continue to make it a safe and vibrant environment place despite the challenges we face.â€