Chief Superintendent Emily Higham, of Greater Manchester Police, intends to crack down on the thugs who are terrorising residents in the Wigan area. The 50-year-old woman was appointed Wigan’s district commander in September in a major shake-up of the constabulary.
And she’s already expressed her intention to clean the streets of the town, which is just northwest of Manchester.
She said: “There are those that are out there there raping and pillaging people walking around carrying knives and involved in organised crimes.
“For those hardcore baddies? We’ll get your belly against my counter, because that’s what it’s about.
“We are going to target you, we are going to arrest you, we are going to make sure that you are on our radar,
“I’m gonna seize all your assets, I’m gonna seize your granny’s flat and your mum’s car and I’m going to come and target you because you are a blight on the communities.”
Ch Supt Higham described her new role as police boss of her home town that she never left as a “dream come true” in an interview with Manchester Evening News.
During her stint in Moss Side, Manchester, Ch Supt Higham took on the nickname ‘Dirty Harriet’, in tribute to the Clint Eastwood classic Dirty Harry.
“I was posted to the gun and gang unit in Moss Side because I was the first female head of organised crime,” the police boss added.
“I remember saying to my husband, crying, ‘What do I know about guns and gangs? And it’s on the other side of Manchester.’
“And he said to me: ‘shut up Dirty Harriet and get on with it!’
“I’m born and bred here, I’ve never, I’ve never wanted to move. My family and friends are all here which makes it a little more special for me.
“I always work 110% but now I’ll work 150% because what I do today will affect my children tomorrow.
“I always wanted to come back to Wigan and thank you Mr Chief Constable you have delivered my dream come true and I’m still smiling.”
Greater Manchester Police, though, was placed in special measures in December 2020 after the police inspectorate (HMI) published a damning report exposing it’s failures around recording crime and protecting vulnerable people.
And another report that deemed the force was performing so badly it was putting the public at risk.
Ch Supt Higham said: “We’ve got to rebuild the trust and confidence in the communities, we are a force on special measures and it’s been well publicised that we haven’t been picking up the phone, reporting the right number of crimes or getting to people in a timely manner.
“If you do ring Wigan Police we’ll get to you in a timely manner and we will offer you an appointment, we’re trying to go to victim led policing.
“If there is a community within any part of Wigan that feels they don’t have a voice, or that they are not getting visible policing or there are tensions that we are not aware of, then they must come forward because we cannot support communities if we don’t know about it.”