Report on Manchester Arena bomb intelligence is a 'difficult read' for Mancunians, says Mayor Burnham
Greater Manchesterâs mayor has labelled David Andersonâs report a âdifficult readâ for Mancunians - admitting âwrong judgmentsâ were made by the security services regarding Salman Abedi.
Andy Burnham accepted the reportâs conclusion that there was âno way of knowingâ whether Abedi could have been stopped but said lessons must now be learned - after it emerged that MI5 missed a string of opportunities to close in on the killer.
He has called intelligence-sharing - and more resources for police.
Thanking Mr Anderson for the review, he said: âThere is no escaping the fact that the report will be a difficult read for everyone in Manchester and most particularly for the bereaved families and those still recovering from the attack.
âWe think of them today and recommit to doing everything we can to support them going forward.
âI also recognise that today will be difficult for all those in the police and security services who we ask to take the most difficult and finely-balanced judgements on our behalf.
âThey work day in, day out to keep us safe, have foiled 20 attacks over the last four years and will no doubt feel real anguish when occasionally they are unable to stop an attack from happening.â
The mayor said the report was the âresult of a lot of soul-searchingâ by intelligence and policing services, adding that he accepted there is âno way of knowing whether the Manchester attack could have been stoppedâ.
âBut it is clear that things could â" and perhaps should â" have been done differently and wrong judgements made,â he said.
âThere are lessons to be learned and I think the people of Greater Manchester will appreciate the honesty in which they are being acknowledged.â
Noting the reportâs conclusion that security services âgot a lot rightâ regarding the attack, he said the very fact MI5 had been closing in on Abedi should âreassure the public of the professionalism of our police and security services and the systems that they useâ.
âIt would be much more worrying if nothing had been known about him,â he added.
âBut clearly systems can be improved further still, and I know that people affected by the Manchester attack will want to know that changes are being made to prevent others going through what they are going throughâ, he said.
âIn the aftermath of the Manchester attack, I called for consideration of two-way sharing on intelligence between national counter-terrorism and local police and I am pleased to see that recommendation in this report.
âThis is a significant development which is right given that the nature of the terror threat has changed and issues are as likely now to come from lone operators as sophisticated networks.â
Referring to the home secretaryâs announcement that closer intelligence-sharing is now likely to be piloted in Greater Manchester, he said the region would work âconstructivelyâ with government on the move.
In her statement to the Commons Amber Rudd had also insisted counter-terror policing âmust have the resources needed to deal with threatsâ, but Mr Burnham pointed out under-pressure neighbourhood policing also needs sufficient funding.
âIt inescapably follows that real-terms cuts to the police budget must stop and increases given to reflect the greater workload and growing threat that we face,â he said. âAs it makes its final decisions on the police budget for next year, the government must give Greater Manc hester police a budget that will allow it to enhance neighbourhood policing in all our communities.â
In his own statement following the reportâs release Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said the forceâs thoughts remained with all those affected by the bombing, adding that it remains âcommitted to bringing anyone involved in this attack to justiceâ.
âWe welcome the report by Mr David Anderson QC, which provided independent assurance of the reviews undertaken by national counter-terrorism policing and MI5 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester,â he said.
âCounter-terrorism policing in the UK is recognised internationally for its successes and strong partnership approach to defeating terrorists, because of that we will never stop learning or adapting to ensure that the response meets the changing threat.
âThe size and scale of the threat from terrorism has been made so tragically clear t his year. Greater Manchester Police will support Counter Terrorism Policing and the UK intelligence community in its response to this step change in threat and in adopting the recommendations in the review.
Read the report in full below - if you can't view it, you can also read or download the PDF here :
âFurther independent scrutiny will follow including inquests into the deaths of those who lost their lives. Greater Manchester Police will support those inquiries and with our partner agencies will continue to support those affected.âSource: Google News