HM Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on 8 September 2022.
During her reign, she served as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth – undertaking an important symbolic and unifying role as a head of state, spanning numerous geographical regions, cultures, and religions.
She was not just the longest-reigning British monarch in history, but she was also the first-ever monarch to reign in the UK for 70 years.
With the UK now in a period of national mourning, it has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace and the UK government that on the day of the State Funeral, at 11am in Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September, will be a bank holiday – giving mourners nationwide the chance to properly pay their respects to the late monarch.
The day before the State Funeral, a ‘National Moment of Reflection’ will be also held in the form of a one-minute silence on Sunday at 8pm, and the public is being encouraged to observe this either privately at home, with friends and family, out on doorsteps or the street with neighbours, or at locally arranged community events and vigils.
But for the Greater Manchester residents who are planning on making the journey down to London for the funeral, or travelling in general, some travel information and advice has now been issued by TfGM and GMP.
Due to the State Funeral being declared a bank holiday, this means that many public transport services across Greater Manchester will be operating on an amended timetable – with both bus and Metrolink services operating to a Sunday timetable.
Many transport services will also pause at 8pm on Sunday to observe the one-minute silence.
Following the end of the funeral service, another two-minute silence will be held, and again, as a result of this, TfGM says Metrolink services will pause at 11:50am to observe the silence, and will resume following the completion of it.
Passengers on board the trams will be notified when the silence begins and ends.
For those travelling by rail, services will be operating to a standard weekday timetable on Monday 19 September – however, services to London between now and Monday are expected to be exceptionally busy due to “the unprecedented number of people likely to be travelling to the capital”, TfGM explains.
This means that some passengers may not get a seat for a period or all of the journey, and they are urged to book in advance and allowing extra time for your trip.
Passengers are also advised to check the latest customer information before travelling, as tickets will still be required on all services, but peak restrictions will not apply on the day as it is a bank holiday.
Find out more about travel on the day of the State Funeral on the TfGM website here.
Featured Image – Network Rail
Police search for man who threw punch at Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match
Police are searching for man who threw his own punch at the AO Arena after Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
The man in question is believed to have vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the match itself came to an end.
He then punched a man sat behind him in the face, before making off on foot.
He left two women and a man he was with behind.
Police are now appealing to witnesses of the assault on Saturday 21 January 2023 to come forward with any information.
CCTV images of the suspect have been released by GMP.
They said in a statement: “Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault at the AO Arena on Saturday 21 January 2023 after the Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
“It is reported that then man (pictured) vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the boxing match finished, and struck a man sat behind him in the face.
“The offender then made off on foot, leaving two women and a man he was with, behind.
“Officers believe that the suspect is possibly from the Merseyside area. If you know the man or have any information relating to the crime, please contact GMP on 101, quoting reference number INC/0075491/23.
“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.”
Featured image: GMP
Salford police officer sacked for ‘depraved’ relationship with vulnerable woman
A police officer has been sacked after carrying out an ‘improper relationship’ with a crime victim.
Paul Banks, who worked as a PC in Salford, has been dismissed and barred after a Gross Misconduct Hearing on 24 and 25 January 2023.
In the hearing, a panel heard how Banks had advised a vulnerable woman to create an email account – which he then accessed to view images and videos, some of which were explicit, that she had uploaded.
He viewed the content more than 200 times and never reported them to his manager or the force’s Professional Standards Branch.
In the end, his own colleagues sensed that something was amiss and raised the alarm.
GMP has now slammed Banks’s ‘depraved behaviour’ and stressed that ‘there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him’.
A statement also said that he ‘abused his position of trust’.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong.
“By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public who he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.
“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who everyday do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.
“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.
“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the IOPC for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.
“No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him.
“He abused his position of trust and for that the Office of Constable has been rightly stripped from him.
“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”
Banks, who had been on restricted since the investigation began in December 2020, was dismissed without notice.