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GMP's new chief says officers will be "smart and professional"

The new chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, "old fashioned" Stephen Watson, has banned visible tattoos, will be staying off social media and says he "doesn't do virtue signaling".

GMP's new chief says officers will be

Date - 27th May 2021
By - Chloe Livadeas
32 Comments 32 Comments}

CC Watson this week began his new role as GMP's new chief constable.

One policy he introduced as chief constable of South Yorkshire which will be carried over to GMP is the banning of officers having visible tattoos while on duty.

He said: “I don’t think the public are ready for cops with tattoos on their faces, on their necks, all over their hands. So those things I’m afraid are incompatible with service in the force.

“If you have got tattoos all over your arms, well you are just going to be issued free of charge with a long-sleeved shirt and you have just got to cover it over.”

He went on to say: “The fact of the matter is I make no judgments about tattoos and people are permitted to do whatever they want, it’s a free country. However I do think it important that we have a uniform standard and that we have an appearance that is common."

When he was confirmed as chief in March, he told reporters the force would be "looking smarter".

“It’s part and parcel of being smart and professional. I also want people to polish their shoes, tie their hair back, I want them to keep themselves fit, I want them to be punctual and polite, and all of those old-fashioned qualities that are the hallmarks of a first-class police officer.”

In his first week in charge of GMP which is effectively in “special measures” after a damning watchdog report revealed the force had failed to properly record 80,000 crimes, he vowed to quit after two years if things don't improve.

The chief said he wants to see GMP return to “doing the basics brilliantly” and in the short term fix the “lack of clarity about the strategic direction of the force”.

“If within two years this force is not in a demonstrably better place I’ll have gone,” he promised.

CC Watson said: “The assurance I have given, and it’s not an easy ask but nonetheless it’s the least the public can expect, is that all crime reported to us will be faithfully recorded and will be properly investigated.

“We will investigate it to the satisfaction of the victim, and when they are vulnerable they will be safeguarded, and even when we cannot solve a problem or detect a crime the public should be left with the distinct impression that we have tried our very best in every case.”

He said that would also involve not screening out “minor crimes in the panoply of crime”.

CC Watson said: “I think in those circumstances we miss the point frankly. It’s not about the category into which a crime falls, it is the impact of the crime on the victim.

“If you are somebody who has your car stolen but you need that to get to your weekly dialysis, that’s a big deal. If you are a workman whose job depends on the tools of your van, that’s a really big deal. And we ought to be reflective of the significance of these things.”

He also explained why he would not have a social media presence.

“The public pay me to be a really good policeman, they do not pay me to be a wannabe celebrity and they really don’t give a toss whether I eat granola for my breakfast or not,” he said. “And I don’t do virtue signalling.

“They (the public) don’t really care about me as an individual and I’m happy with the arrangement.”

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Jensen2021 - Sat, 29 May 2021

The complete opposite of Kent’s chief then! As it’s already been said, very refreshing, but I fear that the Home Office will still only be interested in meaningless statistics.

It’s actually amazing, if you had a chief with this attitude in every force, got rid of the interfering quangos, other virtue signalling SLT, publicity stunts, efficiency would more than likely creep up