Manchester

Greater Manchester Police under real strain, says chief constable

Ian Hopkins Image copyright PA
Image caption Ian Hopkins said he had written to the region's mayor and its MPs

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is "under real strain" following the concert terror attack and years of cuts, its chief constable has said.

Ian Hopkins said he planned to discuss police resources with the region's 27 MPs and mayor Andy Burnham.

Writing on Twitter, he also praised officers involved in policing Parklife music festival and an anti-extremism protest at the weekend.

The Home Office said GMP had received £4.2m in extra funding this year.

"Police officers in Manchester and around the country work very hard to keep us safe," a government spokesman added.

Mr Hopkins cited official figures, which showed the force had 8,148 officers in 2010 and 6,297 last year, a drop of 23%.

Twenty-two people were killed and 116 injured as they left an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May. Attacker Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a home-made bomb in the arena's foyer just after 22:30 BST.

Image caption Police said the protest "turned nasty"

About 400 officers were deployed to police Sunday's protest and officers made eight arrests for public order offences.

Bottles and flares were thrown as the UK Against Hate group and counter-demonstrators clashed.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham criticised "EDL-types" on Twitter, pointing out that the force was currently handling one of its largest-ever investigations.

He tweeted: "@gmpolice are stretched to limit & in middle of on-going investigation."

Image copyright Twitter

"I care about our police being unnecessarily distracted when they are worn out & still working hard to investigate a major incident."

More than 1,000 officers have been involved in the investigation into the arena terror attack.

Greater Manchester deputy mayor Beverley Hughes said no date had been scheduled for the meeting but added it would take place before Parliament's summer recess on 21 July.

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