GMP’s Racial and Social Biases  

By Anthony C Heaford, 29 June 2021 

The disparity in Greater Manchester Police’s historical response to graffiti targeting different communities in different postcodes could not be starker, as per these three examples: 

February 2019 This abhorent graffiti was sprayed on the front door of a family home in Salford. It was reported to police on 08 February 2019. 

Greater Manchester Police took no action whatsoever for over a week and then only responded when photos of the graffiti went viral on twitter

Chief Constable Hopkins personally responded on twitter, denying GMP's shame that was plain for all to see and then “hoping” the crime might be solved by a member of the public who “will know who” did it. The culprit was subsequently identified from basic detective work: CCTV recordings and electronic tracing evidence.  54-year old local man was convicted and jailed  in May 2019 for racially aggravated criminal damage. 

In this case Greater Manchester Police force displayed a blatant disregard for threatening racist graffiti targeting a family home's front door; without the public attention to the matter via twitter I doubt GMP would never have investigated this matter at all.

August 2018 Whilst out walking I came across the graffiti pictured here - two swastikas sprayed on the steps of a footpath. I photographed the graffiti and reported it to the police, this time by email with the photos and a grid location.

Within 48-hours GMP telephoned me and said they were sending two officers to inspect the graffiti and asked me to attend with them. I protested saying it was pointless sending officers to look at graffiti - I explained that was why I’d emailed them the photos, a grid reference and the likely time of the crime. 

But GMP were insistent and within a few hours two uniformed police officers arrived in a police car my home wanting me to show them the graffiti site, which I did. They didn’t take photographs or paint samples and they ignored pertinent local knowledge too. I still can’t comprehend GMP’s response to this right wing / fascist graffiti on a public path, especially when you compare it to their response six months later to the threatening racist graffiti on a family home’s front door.

BDS IMG 1097 copy

Summer 2011 The political graffiti pictured here - “GAZA” & “BDS” - refers to the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanction campaign targeting Israel. It was sprayed on a sign for Dunham Golf Course, known locally as having a predominantly Jewish membership.

Greater Manchester Police’s response to this graffiti was to post undercover plain-clothed detectives across the golf through the night. I knew about this because I was stopped one night by said police officers. I was training for my deployment to Afghanistan (2012), carrying a loaded backpack, when I was apprehended by two men in civilian clothes who effectively ambushed me by shining a torch in my face and demanding to know what I was doing. I already had my torch in my hand and responded by shining it back at them and asking who they were; they responded that they were police officers staking out the golf course in an attempt to catch the graffiti culprits.

This incredible 2011 police response (staking out a golf course at night) to graffiti in a public area, under a different Chief Constable's (Sir Peter Fahy) command, highlights that the social and cultural biases blatantly demonstrated by GMP in their day-to-day activities are both ingrained and longstanding.

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian