Statement from Superintendent Rebecca Boyce following a funeral in Gorton.
Superintendent Rebecca Boyce of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said:
“We were made aware of several gatherings taking place yesterday in Gorton in relation to a funeral. In the lead up to the funeral, officers engaged with the immediate family of the man who had sadly lost his life to explain the government guidelines and to discuss details of their plans.
“A careful assessment was then made about the policing approach to any gatherings associated with the funeral. Our overriding priority was to ensure that the wider public were kept safe. We continued to closely monitor the situation and as it progressed it was clear that the emotions of those at the gathering were high and therefore a decision was made, in the interests of public safety, not to intervene unless the wider public were put at risk by the groups. An arrest was subsequently made of a man who remains in custody in relation to a firearms discharge which happened close by.
“We understand that there has been public concern regarding the events of yesterday. We want to sincerely thank the majority of the public, many of whom are struggling with the loss of loved ones, who have not risked the safety of others by attending gatherings such as funerals in breach of government guidelines. We all have a legal and moral responsibility to abide by the legislation, which is in place to save lives.
“We can only get through this difficult time with the support of all our communities and therefore we would continue to appeal to members of the public to follow the government advice and work with us during what is a particularly challenging time for everyone.”