Large-scale terrorism investigation must consider communities

Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has said that police chiefs need to take into account the impact of large-scale operations on communities.

Assessing the impact the investigation into the Manchester arena bombing had on the city’s Muslims, the watchdog’s annual report claimed that the ‘dynamic and urgent investigation’ into the attack, known as Operation Manteline, deserved to be commended.

In total, Greater Manchester police arrested 23 people in the aftermath of the attack. However, a 35-year-old woman was wrongfully arrested in the days after the attack and has since been compensated. The woman, known as Subject G, has been dubbed as ‘collateral damage’ as she was a resident at a Manchester address next door to a location that was significant to the investigation.

Hill’s report said: “The police should consider and reflect upon the community impact of a large-scale investigation, centring as it did on particular areas of Manchester with a large Muslim population. Good community policing, as well as good counter terrorism policing, demands that real efforts are made to work within and with local communities, where many blameless residents will have been inconvenienced if not traumatised by the regular appearance of police search and arrest teams on their street or in their home. My observations … should be linked to a review of Manteline so far as it involved collateral damage so as to necessitate the payment of compensation to one arrested person, namely Subject G.”

22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb in a rucksack at one of the entrances of the Manchester Arena on 22 May last year during an Ariana Grande concert.

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