GREATER Manchester Police (GMP) is on track to hit its target of recruiting 200 detective roles and hopes to open an academy for investigators later this year.

The drive to take on more detectives follows a damning report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in December, which found more than 80,000 crimes has not been recorded in a year.

The force was put in special measures with concerns raised over the support officers give to victims.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins left his role following the report. His replacement, Steven Watson, will officially begin his post later this month.

Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain announced last month that work has been taking place to address the problems identified in by HMICFRS.

He said that GMP was looking for more than 100 investigators to join a new crime investigation team to help frontline officers.

This week, Greater Manchester Police Federation chairman Stu Berry called on re-elected metro mayor Andy Burnham to work with the force to help recruit the extra detectives needed and create a detective academy.

And in a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Burnham said he is "very sympathetic" to the federation's calls and had already identified the issue with the acting chief constable.

He added that "action has already been taken on it to a degree" and he will have talks with Mr Watson when he starts his job about the topic along with strengthening neighbourhood policing, a priority for the incoming chief, according to Mr Burnham.

In response, the force has said that it has recruited nearly 80 detectives since November and hopes to open a detective academy unit later this year.

Detective Superintendent Amber Waywell, head of GMP's crime training, said: "GMP introduced the GADP (GMP Accelerated Detective Programme) to support the recruitment of 200 detectives into the force – 79 have already been recruited with a further 121 to be recruited by September 2021.

"The force has supported the creation of a detective training unit which will support the GADP with a dedicated detective chief inspector or detective inspector together with three detective sergeants and 30 civilian tutors.

"The location for this is still being considered however will be live prior to the first cohort of officers in October 2021.

"The force has also established a new board to manage detective resourcing in order to succession plan the risk to the force in relation to detective vacancies and future proof the activity.

"Finally, we have the force ICCB (Investigative Capacity and Capability Board), which has been running for the past three years to look at all aspects of recruitment and retention together with the wellbeing of investigators."