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Manchester's police chief quits

One of the UK's top police officers Sir Peter Fahy is to retire as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Sir Peter, originally from London, has been a police officer for more than three decades including serving as the chief constable for both Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

He will leave his £193,000-a-year post in October to take up a role as the chief executive of a charity.

In a statement Sir Peter said: "Following 34 years as a police officer including almost 13 years as a chief constable I have decided that now is the right time to leave policing. It has been a great privilege to serve the people of Greater Manchester and to lead the wonderfully dedicated staff of GMP.

"It has always been my intention to leave during the autumn of this year. I have led the force through four years of budget cuts and staffing reductions but despite this we have achieved significant improvements in service, increased public confidence and reduced crime and anti-social behaviour.

"It is now time for someone else to bring fresh ideas for what will be more challenging years ahead.

"The best part of my job has been to work with so many committed members of staff, members of partner organisations and so many active community members and charities.

"I would like to thank them for all the support they have given me and for the personal support I have received from police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd.

"I have been offered the post of chief executive of the children's charity Retrak. Over the past five years I have worked with the charity on a voluntary basis with teams of GMP staff and colleagues from the Fire Service travelling to Uganda and Ethiopia to work with street children there.

"It is a great charity rescuing hundreds of children every year and with the potential to grow further. It fits in well with my interest in child protection and child welfare issues in this country.

"I am very excited by this new challenge."

Sir Peter, who grew up in east London and joined the police in 1981, was seen as a steadying hand for GMP, the third largest force in England, and replaced former chief constable Michael Todd, who was found dead on a mountainside in Wales in March 2008, after drinking alcohol and swallowing pills when his personal life unravelled amid claims of a string of extra-marital affairs.

Sir Peter, a married father-of-four, who lives in Cheshire, has overseen huge cuts to police budgets and though crime rates have largely declined, the reduction in resources has not endeared him to some rank and file officers.

He was thrust into the national spotlight in September 2012 when two of his officers, Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, were murdered by on-the-run gangster Dale Cregan.

And Sir Peter's tenure has not been without some criticism from outside the force.

Last year a number of local MPs called for him to be suspended following an investigation by police watchdogs into a bungled surveillance operation of a suspected paedophile.

Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale and a leading campaigner to uncover historical child sex abuse, has raised concerns about the leadership of GMP in how it dealt with the investigation into Sir Cyril Smith and sexual grooming gangs.

Sir Peter holds an honours degree in French and Spanish from Hull University and a Masters degree in human resource strategy from the University of East Anglia and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in January 2004 and a knighthood in June 2012.

Prior to taking up his post with GMP in 2008, he worked in Surrey, Hertfordshire and West Midlands and served for five years as chief constable of Cheshire.

Mr Lloyd said: "Today I have accepted the resignation of Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police. Greater Manchester has been fortunate to have a leader of such distinction to guide the force through the enormous challenges faced in policing and across the public sector.

"Through his tireless commitment to public service, Sir Peter has become a highly respected figure both locally and nationally.

"During his seven years with GMP, Sir Peter has worked with me to implement fundamental changes to how Greater Manchester is policed, ensuring that we protect those that are most vulnerable whilst ensuring that all of our communities are safe from harm.

"Sir Peter has been a great credit to both GMP and Greater Manchester and he leaves us in much better shape than when he arrived. He is held in the highest regard, not just by his colleagues in GMP, but across Greater Manchester and the country.

"Sir Peter has always been totally committed to supporting community groups and charities across Greater Manchester, as well as helping young people in Africa through his volunteering and fundraising with the charity Retrak.

"Sir Peter will now take up the chief executive role with Retrak, allowing him to put his passion and many skills to use to continue to help others. I am delighted for Sir Peter and Retrak that they can work more closely together to help street children in Africa.

"I thank Sir Peter for his tireless work for the people of Greater Manchester and I wish him every success and happiness in his next adventure."

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