"Why didn't you go in hard and break some heads?" Confidential asked Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan, at the police and council meeting this morning. "Many people in Manchester are wondering why you just seemed to stand off the thugs who were smashing the city."
"Breaking heads is not how we police," said Shewan. "It's not how we've been policing for many years. We kept to the powers we had. And if we had resorted to violence then we would have lowered ourselves to their level and maybe made the problem worse."
That answer won't satisfy many in Manchester.
And it also seems that not all the police were getting that message. Take a look at this You Tube clip here taken on Store Street behind Piccadilly Station.
Many in Manchester will feel that one or two youths on this clip got there just desserts here.
Across the city centre though, in our view, we were impressed with the police. Their restraint was admirable. They were brave in the face of rioters who clearly had no respect for authority or themselves or their city.
Shewan claimed that over the course of the evening and night in the city centre there had been as many as 800 officers on duty. This doesn’t answer how many there were at any given moment. We never saw more than sixty or so officers.
The police facts in full
GMP has now arrested 113 people in total. The vast majority were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage while around 17 were arrested for public order offences. They are aged between 15 and 58.
Of those arrested there were 105 on North Manchester division, mainly the city centre, three in Salford, three in Bury, one in Bolton and one in South Manchester. Seven of those detained were under 18.
GMP was called to 800 incidents in the city centre from 6pm onwards and around 130 in Salford from 5pm onwards.
More than 1,000 officers supported by neighbourhood staff took part in the operation, including a number of mutual aid officers from other forces.
Ten officers were injured in the line of duty, one of which suffered a suspected broken ankle.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue reported 155 fires across the city centre and Salford, all of which have now been extinguished. Around 100 premises across the cities have been seriously damaged and a number of police vehicles were damaged.
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