Police are accused of posing for selfies on streets while tasked with crime crackdown in tough neighbourhood
- Police officers have been accused of taking selfies in patrol areas then leaving
- Residents living in the Edgeley area of Stockport, Greater Manchester, kept tabs
- One woman said she saw two officers smile for a Facebook picture then drive off
- Councillor Sheila Bailey called the alleged behaviour ‘superficial’ and ‘cynical’
Police tasked with cracking down on crime in a tough neighbourhood have been accused of ‘superficial’ patrolling after being spotted pulling up in their cars, taking photographs of themselves, then driving away.
Residents became suspicious when pictures turned up on Facebook claiming that officers had been on the beat in Stockport.
One resident said she saw two officers ‘giggling’ while taking a photo.
Police have since been warned they ‘must be seen to be patrolling areas on foot’. Greater Manchester Police declined to comment.
The locals said the photographs of police on the same street pictured in Facebook posts ten times since the start of 2022.
Police tasked with cracking down on crime in a tough neighbourhood have been accused of ‘superficial’ patrolling (stock image)
People living in the Edgeley area of Stockport, Greater Manchester, then decided to keep tabs on the Bobbies.
One resident said: ‘I saw two women police officers get out of a car near Rae Street, giggling about taking a photo and then they got back in the car and drove away.’
Another said: ‘We have noticed several times police cars and unmarked cars pull up, get out and the officers take a couple of photos by the shops [or] on the corner near the doctors and less than a minute later get back into the car and drive away.
‘Later these pictures are added to Facebook as part of Operation Valiant – and they say they have been patrolling the area but actually they have just taken a photo.’
Local councillor Sheila Bailey, who represents Edgeley and Cheadle Heath on Stockport Council, called the alleged behaviour ‘superficial’ and ‘cynical’.
She said: ‘The police have taken a battering lately, and quite rightly so.
‘They need to restore confidence and they don’t do that by behaving in this kind of way. It’s important to know that police have taken notice and taken steps to ensure that this behaviour does not continue – it was ludicrous behaviour.’
In a message to colleagues, Stockport’s divisional commander, Chief Superintendent John Webster, said: ‘As we all know, the greatest strategic threat we have in Greater Manchester Police is legitimacy, trust and confidence.
‘Please get some officers out on foot in those areas. Should we post on social media officers in a particular area, I will absolutely want to see evidence that they have been there, (on foot) speaking to our community and spending time there.’
Chief Supt Webster was appointed last autumn as part of the force’s drive to improve neighbourhood policing.
It follows recent failings which led to GMP being placed into special measures in late 2020.
Speaking soon after his appointment, Chief Supt Webster described ‘efficient and effective’ neighbourhood policing of Stockport’s streets as part of a ‘three-pronged’ approach to improve standards.
He said: ‘[It’s] a huge opportunity to elevate a great organisation to the position where it should be.
‘GMP is one of the biggest metropolitan forces in the country. It’s a shame that we’re perceived by the public as a failing force.
‘The biggest strategic challenge I think GMP has got is building back that legitimacy, trust, and confidence in the community.’