Crime priorities outlined in Safer Hartlepool Partnership event

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DOZENS of residents took the opportunity to have their say in helping to tackle crime priorities at an event held in Hartlepool.

The Safer Hartlepool Partnership held its annual ‘Face the Public’ event at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, and around 90 people packed into the room.

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Reducing the number of people re-offending in Hartlepool and maintaining neighbourhood and community policing were the main areas of concern from residents, said the chairman of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher.

As well as residents there was representatives from Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cleveland Fire Brigade at the meeting.

As well as being able to air their views on what they felt should be the priorities, residents were also able to put questions to senior representatives of the key organisations which make up the Partnership, including Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and Hartlepool Police.

Denise Ogden, Hartlepool community safety co-ordinator, Lucia Saiger-Burns, director of Durham & Tees Valley Probation Trust, Ian McHugh, district manager of Cleveland Fire Brigade and Lynn Beeston, Cleveland Police Chief Inspector for Hartlepool also all attended.

Meanwhile, also there was Karen Hawkins, a Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group representative and Paul Pagni, chair of Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group.

The event was led by Coun Akers-Belcher, who said he was pleased with the turnout and the response from people there.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “The event was very well attended and there was a good mix of different service providers and members of the public.

“We had a session with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Lynn Beeston, chief inspector for Hartlepool, who answered questions put to them by residents.

“The main areas of concern were around maintaining the presence of community policing and making sure there is a focus on reducing the re-offending rates in Hartlepool.”

Coun Akers-Belcher, who said the panel faced some “challenging questions” about the priorities, said the police representatives outlined the budget pressures facing the force and said while there will be cuts, there was also a “firm commitment” that they will retain community policing.

There was also round the table discussions after the panel had been quizzed and the next stage is to go out to a wider public consultation about the priorities for the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, based on the feedback from the session.