Mayor asks for ‘full explanation’ from GMP after protestor left exposed during arrest
Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that an "urgent review" is now underway.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester has demanded answers from the Greater Manchester Police following the arrest of a protestor that left her exposed in her underwear.
Andy Burnham has asked the police for a “full explanation” in light of the incident.
The incident took place as 18 people were arrested during a ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration in the city centre on Saturday evening, where police had allowed protesters to march in a large group and give speeches denouncing the government’s new legislation that critics say would restrict the right to protest.
But when a small group of protestors chose to sit down and block tram lines in St Peter’s Square, riot police moved in.
Following the demonstration – which has been widely-reported in local and national media – campaigners complained that officers used heavy-handed tactics by pushing and dragging people out of the area, and the images that have emerged of the arrest of a young woman have provoked particular outrage on social media.
It appeared that as the woman was dragged away, her jeans were pulled down leaving her exposed in just her underwear, and while eyewitnesses said an officer made attempts to pull her jeans back up, the scene prior had already been captured by a number of photographers.
One image shared on Twitter accuses the GMP of having “stripped” the woman publicly.
Andy Burnham was also tagged in the photo by another Twitter user – Mike / @TwobobTwobo2 – who stated: “I do hope you’ll be doing something about this Andy.” to which Mr Burnham responded yesterday evening: “I am Mike.
“I have started by asking Greater Manchester Police to provide a full explanation of what happened.”
Mr Burnham and Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes had previously backed the police’s response regarding their decision to break up the protesters, particularly in relation to those obstructing the tram lines, as the force stated the group refused to comply with instructions when asked to move away from the area.
“GMP had to manage a challenging situation carefully and we did not see a repeat of scenes seen in other parts of the country recently,” they said in a statement.
This morning, following Mr Burnham’s confirmation that he has asked the force to provide a “full explanation of what happened”, Greater Manchester Police has taken to Twitter to issue a brief initial statement addressing the nature of the incident.
The statement reads: “We are aware of the images and videos of a woman partially exposed when being arrested following Saturday’s protest in the city centre, which make for uncomfortable viewing.
“An urgent review is underway to establish circumstances,”.
The force also confirmed that an update will follow this initial statement “in due course”.
This brief statement comes after Greater Manchester Police had previously confirmed that Saturday’s demonstration had remained “largely peaceful” and “contained”, but then defended their decision to break up protestors obstructing tram lines when the group were repeatedly asked by officers and partners from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to move, but some failed to comply with this order.
Addressing the nature of the demonstration in an earlier statement, a spokesperson for the force said: “In all events, we have used the four Es approach, with a particular emphasis on engagement, to work our way through the challenges presented to us.
“Where this has been exhausted without success, we have moved to enforcement action where necessary.
“We continually prioritise the assessment of risk, the disruption caused, and importantly the safety of the wider public throughout.”
Featured Image: BBC North West / Twitter
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: Google Maps
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.
“I remember saying, ‘Thank God for that’.
“The little girl gave me a thank you hug before she went to hospital, but I couldn’t have done what I did without PC Blundell’s assistance, so it was a real team effort.”
Featured Image – GMP