In April 2012 the Greater Manchester Police launched a new police team tackle crimes against vulnerable people. The father of domestic abuse victim Clare Wood is supporting the launch of a new specialist Greater Manchester Police division dedicated to improving the quality of investigations and providing support for victims and vulnerable members of our community.

The new Public Protection Division (PPD) provides teams of highly skilled and experience officers who are dedicated to investigating crimes against vulnerable people, targeting offenders and supporting victims.

Its introduction is in response to the fact that public protection is recognised as a high risk area of policing. GMP also acknowledges the need to change its approach to investigations and supporting vulnerable people. In recent years, a number of high profile cases, which have included the deaths of Clare Wood and Amy Leigh Barnes, have led to criticism from the IPCC and coroners about GMP’s ability to deal effectively with cases involving vulnerable people.

Head of the PPD, Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle believes that this is a huge step forward in protecting victims and targeting offenders.  “The introduction of the new Public Protection Division demonstrates our commitment to protecting vulnerable people, investigating cases thoroughly and bringing offenders to justice.

“We have responded dynamically to recent cases where failings were identified, recognised that mistakes have been made in the past and are committed to ensuring that they will not happen in the future.

“Having a dedicated team of specially trained officers means that we now have the flexibility to deploy our resources effectively and ensure lines of communication with victims, witnesses and all agencies that provide essential support services, are efficient.”

The new PPD has taken on the management responsibility for the Divisional Public Protection Investigation Units (PPIUs), which will remain based on divisions and staffed in accordance to demand. It also draws together the existing Serious Crime Division units such as the Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons Unit, the Sex Offender Management Unit and the Sexual Crimes Unit.

In addition, a new Serious Sexual Offences Investigation unit will be introduced this summer to deal with all cases of rape across Greater Manchester ensuring a consistent approach for victims, no matter what the circumstances of the incident are, and help to bring more offenders to justice.

“It is early days, but we have already started to see some significant improvements in this diverse area of policing with some excellent results. However, it is important that we do not become complacent.”

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