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Burnham shines spotlight on ‘very serious issues’ in city’s police force

NewsBurnham shines spotlight on ‘very serious issues’ in city’s police force

Greater Manchester’s mayor has vowed to seek the truth about his police force after an innocent man spent 17 years in jail for rape.

Andy Burnham has also pledged to investigate allegations that a woman was strip-searched and sexually assaulted while in custody.

There are claims of similar mistreatment towards two others.

This week Andrew Malkinson, 57, of Grimsby, was finally cleared of rape by the Court of Appeal after DNA linked another man. Mr Malkinson said the years inside took “a heavy toll”.

But he said the victim of the violent attack in Little Hulton in July 2003 was “let down”.

He added: “She thought that I was the perpetrator because she was traumatised when she picked me out of the parade.”

Mr Burnham wants to shine a spotlight on the north-west force which only last October came out of special measures.

Asked yesterday about Greater Manchester Police’s role in Mr Malkinson’s case, he said: “There are very serious issues, this is a terrible miscarriage of justice. I will certainly be going through in detail the issues arising from the court judgment very carefully.”

But Mr Burnham, right, also raised concerns over GMP regarding claims women were assaulted while in custody.

Zayna Iman, 38, has waived her anonymity and alleges she was drugged and sexually assaulted when held in 2021 on welfare grounds over cocaine use. She says police binned vital hours of CCTV.

GMP has referred the case to the police watchdog but Mr Burnham has announced Dame Vera Baird KC, a former victims commissioner, would investigate.

Mr Burnham said: “If there is wrongdoing, that will have to be called out and people will have to be held to account.”

Another woman says police were heavy-handed after she complained over failure to probe allegations of sexual abuse. A third claims she was strip-searched when held for swearing at police in a call.

GMP Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said: “We understand and share the ­concerns of the public.”

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