Pc who tried to help Manchester Arena victims jailed over spying for criminal gang

Pc Mohammed Malik, 37, from Rochedale, fed criminals information from the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) internal systems despite his “unblemished reputation” in the force, Liverpool Crown Court.
Mohammed Malik, 37, from Rochedale, fed criminals information from the Greater Manchester Police's internal systems despite his 'unblemished reputation' in the force. (Reach)

A police officer who tried to help victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack has been jailed for spying for an organised crime group.

Pc Mohammed Malik, 37, fed criminals information from the Greater Manchester Police's (GMP) internal systems despite his “unblemished reputation” in the force, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Since he joined GMP in 2009, Malik had championed better relations between the force and the Muslim community in Rochdale, and had earned commendations for tackling drug dealing in Manchester city centre.

In May 2017, he was one of the first responders to the scene during the Manchester Arena terror attack, despite being off duty.

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He attempted to aid the victims but claimed he faced several off-putting comments from those at the scene based on "his skin colour and that he had a rucksack with him" so stayed outside to help, the court heard.

The experience left Malik in need of counselling for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

But a few months before the attack, Malik had begun sending information to criminal groups from police systems in exchange for cash.

In January 2017, he embarked on an “unhealthy relationship” with former colleague Mohammed Anis, 35, which lasted until they were arrested in November 2018.

Anis would ask Malik to search GMP’s systems to find out if officers were monitoring cars being used by organised crime group members, or if there was any information known to police about him and his associates, the court heard.

Anis also paid Malik for providing the results on a monthly basis.

Investigators found up to £600-worth of payments in bank transfers while there were potentially more untraceable cash payments made, the court heard.

Malik also provided advice on avoiding detection as the “transactional relationship” escalated.

He helped Anis to keep one step ahead of the police, telling him “bro stop driving flashy cars, don't give them a reason to pull you over”, and “no more private reg which turns heads”.

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Malik also tipped off Anis that police were outside his house in Bury before helping him to make a false report about a burglary at the address in order to claim insurance money.

But Anis was caught when he collected about a kilo of cannabis from another man in Salford.

He was arrested and charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.

Anis denied the charges and was found guilty in a trial at the end of May.

Malik was also charged with the same offences but pleaded guilty in the face of what a judge would later describe as “frankly, utterly overwhelming evidence.”

He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison while Anis was sentenced to three years and 10 months.

Mohammed Nawaz, mitigating for Malik, said the offences marked a “massive fall from grace” for the suspended police officer, adding that he “is under no illusion as to how serious these offences are.

"He knows that the breach of trust and public duty are extremely serious matters.”

John Harrison, mitigating for Anis, said: "Mohammed Anis did encourage a breach of trust. He was put up to this by somebody else. He shouldn't have been put up to these requests [for information]."

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Menary QC told Malik he had undermined public trust in the police, adding: “Having a friendly police officer who could supply inside information was a potentially very useful resource.

“It allowed criminals or those supporting criminal activity to be forewarned of police interest in them and their illegal activities or simply to know what the police knew about them and their activities.”

Detective Superintendent Steve Keeley, of GMP's Anti-Corruption Unit, said: "At GMP we expect the highest standards from all of our officers as part of their duty to serve the public, and it's clear here that Malik failed to do this and is rightly being punished for his crimes.

"This is a good result that sends a strong message to anyone involved in corruption that we will investigate and will pursue prosecutions to bring those responsible to account."

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