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Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchestermarker, in North West England.

The Greater Manchester Police employs; 8,167 police officers, 380 Volunteer Special Constables, 270 Police Community Support Officers, with 3,769 civilian members of staff, supporting the service. It is the second largest police force in England and Wales after Greater Londonmarker's Metropolitan Police Service . The GMP headquarters are at Chester House, Old Traffordmarker.

Under previously failed proposed mergers, which saw plans to merge most police forces with bordering ones, GMP would not have been affected and would have remained as a single police force.

The former slogan of Greater Manchester Police is: Fighting Crime, Protecting People.


The force was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of Manchester and Salford Police with parts of Lancashire Constabulary, Cheshire Constabulary and West Yorkshire Constabulary. The first Chief Constable of the force was William James Richards, followed shortly afterwards, in 1975 by James Anderton. In 1993 David Wilmot succeeded James Anderton. In 2002 Michael Todd was appointed to Chief Constable until his death in 2008.

Police Constable Ian Rodgers was the first GMP officer to be killed in the line of duty in 1975. His death occurred in a railway incident at Stockportmarker. Since the formation of GMP 20 officers have been killed or died in the line of duty.

The GMP dealt with the 1996 Manchester bombingmarker and the 2008 Football Riots. There was much press coverage of the death of the then Chief Constable Michael J. Todd in March 2008.

Following Michael J. Todd's death in post, Peter Fahy, previously head of Cheshire Police, was appointed as Chief Constable in September, 2008.


In 2003, video evidence emerged documenting racist acts by police trainees and officers, including one member applauding Hitler and another donning a ku klux klan outfit and flagrant use of the word nigger and paki to deride other police trainees.


The area GMP polices is split into geographical divisions, with each Metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester being assigned one, with the exception of the City of Manchester, which has three divisions. Each division provides officers that patrol the community, and response officers that respond to emergencies, along with CID officers. Each division is headed by a Chief Superintendent.


  • A - North Manchester (including the City Centremarker)
  • B - Metropolitan Division
  • C - South Manchester
  • F - Salfordmarker

City centre policing

GMP maintains a neighbourhood policing structure, responsible for policing different areas within the city centremarker, consisting of:

Air Support Unit

GMP's Air Support Unit, with its call sign as "India 99", operates an MD Explorerhelicopter, along with a fixed-wing Britten-Norman BN-2T-4S Defender, with its call sign being "India 66".

Road Policing Unit

GMP also operates a Road Policing Unit (RPU) responsible for all traffic policing in the county, which includes over 280 miles of motorway. The unit operates specialised BMW X5s, Volvo V70s, Vauxhall VectraVXR special editions, and a number of BMW3 & 5 Series. Previously the Motorway and the Motorcycle units stood separately, but in recent years both have been incorporated into the RPU's. There is however still a separate unit based at Birch Motorway Services which is responsible for enforcement of Road Traffic Legislation on the Motorway Network. BMW R1200RT-P motorcycles have recently replaced the Honda Pan-European ST 1100's & ill-fated ST 1300's. The RPU's are divided into five strategic units.

During the 1990s, the GMP's area had a high rate of car crime. To combat this the Tactical Vehicle Crime Unit was formed which is based at Eccles, Greater Manchestermarker Police Station.

Serious Crime Division

The SCD is a unit of GMP responsible for dealing with serious crimes and providing protection for vulnerable people. The force also has an Anti-Terrorism Unit formed in April 2005 within Special Branch.

Tactical Firearms Unit

Officers of the GMP, as in the rest of Great Britain, do not routinely carry firearms. Instead, the GMP maintains a firearms unitto provide them with a capability to deal with armed criminals. The Greater Manchester Police, Tactical Firearms Unitmaintains Armed Response Vehicles, which transport armed officers to the scene. Like some other forces, firearms officers carry the Heckler & KochG36along with the Heckler & Koch MP5semi-automatic carbine, Glock 17 pistol, and the X26 Taser.

Dog Unit

In 2003 GMP had over 110 dogs. However, this has recently been reduced to only 35 dogs across the force, leaving many areas without a single dog available. The dogs are involved in important operational duties such as tracking, building searches, and other criminal work across Greater Manchester. The majority of general purpose police dogs are German Shepherds, but other breeds are also used, including Rottweilers, Belgian Shepherdsand Giant Schnauzers.

Mounted Unit

The GMP maintains a mounted policingcapability. The mounted officers are employed to target crime hotspots and are also seen at many events including demonstrations and the region's footballmatches. Horses are also used to search inaccessible areas for missing or wanted people. The unit is made up of a team of specialist police officers, skilled groomsand trainers, and 35 horses. The mounted unit is based at Hough End, in Chorltonmarker, and uses horseboxes to transport the horses for duties around Greater Manchester.

Special Constabulary

GMP has over 300 Special Constables, who are assigned to each of the twelve divisions. Special Constables work alongside their regular counterparts and are assigned to Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs). This is normally co-ordinated by the Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary. Under the guidance of the new Chief Constable, it is envisaged that the number of Special Constables within GMP will increase to 1,000 officers, within a 3 year period from 2009.

Video Intelligence Unit

This unit conducts overtsurveillanceof certain released prisoners and upload some footage onto YouTubeof people that they believe have reoffended.



The normal GMP uniform is now combat style trousers and a black zipped neck polo shirt; a high visibility jacket is worn as necessary. Headgear for male constables and sergeants is a custodian helmetwhen on foot patrol, and a peaked capfor other duties. Female officers wear a rounded bowler style hat. As with other forces, GMP traffic officers wear a cap with a white top. Some specialists, such as police dog handlers and firearms officers, wear a blue shirt.

With effect from 1 June 2009, GMP will be adopting a new uniform for operational officers. This will comprise a back zip next shirt and straight leg style combat trousers. PCSOs will be issued with a light blue shirt.

Personal equipment

Uniformed officers when on duty carry a handheld encrypted Airwaveradio(made by Sepura) which makes use of TETRAtechnology. On their duty belt(or in the case of CID officers, a covert harness) they carry: an expandable batonwhich has recently been changed from the rigid Monadnock PR-24 Baton to the extendable Monadnock Autolock Baton, CS spray, rigid Hiatt speedcuffs, a first aid pouch(containing medical gloves, CPR maskand antisepticwipes), and are required to wear a stab/ballistic vestwhilst on operational duties.


Standard panda Carsinclude the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, and Vauxhall Astra. The force's traffic unit operates the Vauxhall Vectra, BMW 3 Seriesestate, and Volvo S60, whilst the Motorway Unit operates the Range Rover, Volvo V70, and BMW X5. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, VW Transporter, Ford Transitand Ford Transit Connectare used in section van and support roles. The Dog Section uses Vauxhall Astravans


The force also has its own newspaper, Brief, which is distributed to thousands of officers, making it one of the largest in circulation. Each 20-page issue has a mix of news about police initiatives, policies and crime successes, in-depth articles on specialist units, social and sports news, and regular features.

See also



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