After a catalogue of issues that have seen little action by the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner on a whole range of transgressions – from the brutal Barton Moss anti-fracking protest policing, to the way that GMP has handled racism and domestic violence, to the Anthony Grainger shooting – tonight, a host of local political organisations, joined by Barton Moss Camp solicitor Simon Pook, have called for Tony Lloyd's resignation.
It seems that Lloyd's formation of an `ethics committee' in response to a triple investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following serious allegations into the Greater Manchester Police's conduct has worn down the patience of the groups
"The formation of an 'ethics committee' to oversee the Police, of all organisations, is absurd" says Chair of Manchester Green Party, Deyika Nzeribe "Do we really need a panel to tell the Police the difference between right and wrong? The issue is not police 'ethics', it's police conduct.
"The IPCC investigations are the latest in a long line of issues to confront the GMP in the time Tony Lloyd has been Crime Commissioner and frankly, he is out of his depth" he adds "As an MP for Manchester, he has had a long and notable career but under his leadership, Manchester policing has nose-dived. Greater Manchester's Black and Asian Police Association (BAPA) is describing it as a `crisis in leadership'. He should do the right thing and stand down immediately."
His points are underlined by other signatories of the letter, like Colette Williams, of BARAC and the Respect Party, who says "During the campaign for Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd promised that he would be an advocate for the people, that he would work tirelessly to improve the relationship and instil trust and confidence between the community and the Police. However since he has been in office there have been a number of issues which have been brought to his attention regarding police conduct and he has quite simply refused to engage in any real open discussions on these issues.
"It seems that his only priority is to raise funds for his office" she adds "and not to fulfil the pledge of building trust and confidence between the community and the Police."
Mark Krantz, of SWP, goes in even harder on Lloyd… "It is hard not to draw the conclusion that Tony Lloyd is in the pocket of Peter Fahy" he states.
And Loz Kaye of the Pirate Party Manchester explains "We have always said the Police Commissioner post was a bad idea. Now we have found out how bad it can go.
"When it suits, Tony Lloyd can be political by campaigning for the Labour party" she adds "But he has shown no leadership on key political issues like policing at Barton Moss. It's time we were given the choice to have a commissioner who really will stand up for all people in Greater Manchester."
The letter in full reads…
`We, the undersigned, are concerned about the IPCC investigations into the Greater Manchester Police force and the recent formation of an 'ethics committee'. We note that in the past six months very little has been heard from the GMPCC, Tony Lloyd, on the following issues:
* The Crown Prosecution Service charging Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy with 'failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act' following the killing of 36 year old Athony Grainer, father of two.
* GMP's internal affairs department, the 'Professional Standards Branch' being investigated by an external police force over allegations of racism.
* The revelation that a damning 99 page report by former Superintendent Martin Harding into the force's recruitment policy was changed to remove the conclusion that the force is `still an institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic and disablist organisation.
* A new report from Government Inspectors putting GMP police `under fire' for failing to protect victims of domestic violence. The force is currently facing another THREE police watchdog probes over the way they handled domestic violence complaints from three women before they were killed.
* The prolonged violence and aggression by GMP in the policing of the anti-fracking protesters at Barton Moss in Eccles. Simon Pook, solicitor for the campaigners has compiled a dossier of evidence to be submitted to the United Nations. He said: "The police appeared to be out of control. I had to go and stand in a field when I went there because I was so afraid of what was going on."
When Tony Lloyd first took up the £100,000 pa role of Police and Crime Commissioner, he said "Where the public don't trust and value the police, we don't get effective policing. At the moment there are big gaps."
With all of the recent scandals, he is doing nothing to improve the situation. The day to day management of the GMP is the responsibility of Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and according to GMPCC's governance document, one of the Commissioner's key roles is to "hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester".
This is clearly failing to happen. The following people and organisations call for Tony Lloyd, the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner to resign from this position. The people of Manchester deserve better.'
The letter is signed by:
Deyika Nzeribe, Chair of Manchester Green Party
Colette Williams, BARAC and Respect Party candidate
Simon Pook, solicitor for the Barton Moss anti-fracking campaigners
Loz Kaye, Chair of Manchester Pirate Party
Mark Krantz, Socialist Workers Party
* This afternoon during the peaceful walkout at the Barton Moss exploratory drilling site there were three more arrests by the GMP Tactical Aid Unit, including a protector who was live streaming events (see also previous Salford Star article - GMP targets live streamers - click here)
* See also Swinton Police Station Protest Against GMP Brutality - click here (and follow links for related stories)
* See also `We're Sleep Walking Into A Police State' Anthony Grainger Vigil - click here
Photo by Steven Speed