Manchester’s police chief has slammed a BBC documentary aired on the one-year anniversary of the city’s suicide bomb attack.
Ian Hopkins, Greater Manchester Police’s chief constable, said Manchester: The Night Of The Bomb was insensitive to victims’ families.
In an open letter published today he admitted he was ‘saddened’ by the TV programme and its ‘wholly inaccurate’ claims his officers were held back from helping victims.
The senior police officer criticised the use of ‘explicit’ footage from the night of the attack on May 22 last year, claiming some families were left asking ‘is this my loved one on the floor?’
Twenty-two people died and 139 injured when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a bomb after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
Greater Manchester Police’s chief constable has slammed a BBC documentary aired on the one-year anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing (immediate police response to attack pictured)
Mr Hopkins wrote: ‘This documentary… is in our view entirely inappropriate and I deeply regret the impact the actions of the production company and the BBC may have on those who matter most – the victims’ families and survivors of one of the worst terrorist attacks this country has ever seen.’
Mr Hopkins said he wrote the letter to explain why his force did not take part in the programme and correct its ‘inaccurate’ reporting.
Chief constable Ian Hopkins (pictured)
He denied suggestions he inferred from the documentary that Manchester officers and staff were held back from the arena.
Mr Hopkins said: ‘This is untrue and is an unwarranted attack on GMP police officers who, as the actual footage showed, acted bravely in response to this horrific attack.
‘At no point were GMP officers and staff held back and they were immediately deployed to the Arena to save life and protect people.’
He said his force declined to participate in the documentary because it was hamstrung by legal constraints in discussing the attack in the context of an ongoing investigation.
‘This documentary, in our view failed to accurately depict the events of