Greater Manchester Police set to appoint new chief constable

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Chief Constable Stephen WatsonImage source, South Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Stephen Watson is set to take charge of Greater Manchester Police

South Yorkshire's chief constable is set to be announced as the new leader of Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

The appointment of Stephen Watson, who has led the South Yorkshire force since 2016, is expected to be rubber-stamped by a panel later this week.

Mr Watson would succeed Ian Hopkins, who quit after GMP was criticised and put under special measures last year.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he was "confident" Mr Watson was "the right person to lead the force".

Mr Burnham said it had been a "challenging period" for GMP after inspectors found it had failed to record 80,000 crimes.

Deputy mayor for policing and crime Beverley Hughes said Mr Watson had a "proven record of improving police performance".

"I hope the panel will support our recommendation and open a new chapter for policing in Greater Manchester," Mr Burnham said.

After serving in the Metropolitan Police, Mr Watson was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary in 2015 and moved to South Yorkshire Police the following year.

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