Thursday 13 February 2020


by David Winder

In the wake of the 'assurance review' into Manchester grooming gangs I wrote to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.  I asked him about the reaction of the Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and urged him to take action over the fact Greater Manchester Police knowingly turned a blind eye while children were groomed and raped.

Andy Burnham and Ian Hopkins

Mr Burnham,

Ian Hopkins was appointed as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in October 2015, but before then was Deputy Chief Constable from December 2011.

It has taken over four years under his command and over eight years since he first joined GMP in a senior role for an investigation into the way GMP handled the grooming gang scandals.  This was despite campaigners and whistleblowers demanding action from GMP since long before he was even appointed.  It has only been because of the inquiry set up by yourself in the wake of the 'Three Girls' TV drama has this apology and his supposed "personal disgust" at the way victims were let down has this been forthcoming.  Does anyone reading his apology genuinely believe for one second that without this high-level intervention from your inquiry would we be sitting here reading of how upset and sorry he was for the failings of GMP?

We all know the answer to that one.  Whilst Hopkins isn't responsible for the premature ending of Operation Augusta back in 2004 he is emblematic of the refusal of senior police officers within our police force to actually look into these crimes and accusations unprompted for fear of being labelled racist.  He is just another "toe the line" Common Purpose graduate, a morally bankrupt coward and has no right to maintain his job and position.  It shouldn't take a BBC drama for him to finally take action when hundreds, maybe thousands of victims, campaigners and families, people who he is supposed to serve and protect, have been pleading with his force to take action for so long.  His position is completely untenable Mr Burnham and he must resign now or frankly it falls on you to remove him from office - else the accusation for responsibility will then lie at your door as you will be seen to be covering for your colleagues.  It was that kind of "you scratch my back and i'll scratch yours" approach that saw this neglect happen and remain hidden in the first place.

It cannot continue as the public's faith in GMP to remain impartial, no matter what the circumstance and to investigate crime without fear or favour currently lies in tatters.

I hope that you act on this matter and take steps immediately to remedy this.


David Winder

I sent this letter on the 15th of January.  I have had no reply or response, so I can only assume that once again we will end up with the closing of ranks by all involved.  Andy Burnham recently announced he is going to stand for mayor again in May, but he's done nothing for our region and where grooming gangs are concerned he is a part of the problem, not the solution.