Updated: Friday, 19th July 2019 @ 2:43pm

Revealed: GMP lost more than 1,000 pieces of evidence in FIVE-YEAR stretch

Revealed: GMP lost more than 1,000 pieces of evidence in FIVE-YEAR stretch

| By Robert Jenkins

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) lost more than 1000 pieces of evidence between 2011-16.

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) report, GMP lost a staggering 1,210 items.

The report states that these items, lost between 2011 and 2016, include “forensic evidential items”.

The report also reveals that officers are not updating the force’s Property Management System (PMS) correctly: the PMS is the centralised computer system used to track all property held by GMP.

In a statement Greater Manchester Police said: “GMP operates across a vast area and deals with an enormous caseload and associated items every year.

“The lost category appears to have been used as a default option where, for example, an officer has returned an item following the completion of an investigation, but failed to record that action on the PMS, instead making a record in their pocket notebook.”

In 2011 alone, 586 items were categorised as “lost” by GMP.

GMP states that later that year changes were made to the force’s PMS to make records more accurate.

This included adding extra categories to “better describe other situations where the property was not technically lost.”

However, in 2012 the force still details 252 items as lost.

Between 2013-14, 154 items were lost while between 2014-15 that number only dipped to 152.

A separate FOI request showed that GMP’s neighbouring force, Merseyside Police, had lost only 18 pieces of evidence between 2011 and 2016.

Merseyside Police’s response showed that the force has a far more organised method of tracking how much evidence it holds, supplying detailed descriptions of each piece of lost evidence.

Worryingly, GMP explains that officers may be requesting that items of evidence are categorised as “submitted” on the PMS, without actually submitting the evidence.

The GMP FOI report states: “The [lost] category may also have been used where officers requested entries to be booked into the system without physically submitting a piece of property.

“During the period January 2011 to October 2016, the force seized more than 1,439,600 items, meaning the 1,210 items referenced in the figures account for less than one per cent.”

Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has declined to comment. 

Image courtesy of JayneandD via Flickr, with thanks.