Manchester

City can shed 'Gunchester' label, says Chief Constable

GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy
Image caption Chief Constable Peter Fahy says the force is tackling the issues people care about

Manchester can shrug off its "Gunchester" label after a large reduction in gun crime, said the city's Chief Constable.

The latest crime figures reveal a 77% fall in the number of shootings in Greater Manchester in the past year.

Greater Manchester Police said there were three shootings between April 2010 and last month, compared with 13 in the previous 12 months.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said he was "positive but not complacent."

According to the figures, firearm discharges in Greater Manchester were at their lowest level since recording began in 2003.

The city earned the nickname 'Gunchester' in the 1990s after a series of high profile shootings connected to gang activity.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said he believed that Manchester was now ready to lose its former association with firearms.

"I think we can," he said. "On the other hand, we are not complacent about this.

"What's worrying is that we are still recovering firearms and ammunition.

"Really the reduction is only because we've got officers out there every night watching some of the gang members and keeping on top of activity," he added.

"We're not complacent about this but, on the other hand, when you consider where we were, when you consider we've now got the lowest number of murders for 20 years, then I think we can be positive about it."

Lowest levels

Police say the figures confirm that reported crime is at the lowest level in the area since 2000 with 227,855 reported crimes in the past year.

The number of reports of antisocial behaviour, burglary, robbery, criminal damage, and vehicle crime were all at their lowest levels for five years, according to the force.

The force also said more than eight in 10 people believed the force was doing a good job in fighting crime.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said he was pleased that detection rates were up and that there was a greater public confidence in the police.

"We can celebrate an 8% reduction in crime and my staff have worked incredibly hard to achieve that," he said.

"But you've got to say that more than 200,000 crimes in Greater Manchester over the last year cannot be acceptable."

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