POLICE chiefs have praised their officers and the community they serve after their force came out top in the country for confidence.
Newly-released Home Office figures show Cleveland Police is the most trusted force in England.
According to the British Crime Survey, 59.9 per cent of people questioned felt that the police and local councils in the area are dealing with issues, which is the highest figure nationally.
The interviews were held with people in the Cleveland Police area, including Hartlepool and Billingham, in the 12 months to December 2010.
The recorded crime figures also show Cleveland has the third largest reduction in total crime with 13 per cent.
It also comes only days after the force was named the Emergency Service Police Force of the Year.
Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price said: “While I am delighted with all these results, I am under no illusion about the challenges ahead with the significant financial cuts we face.
“There are more difficult decisions to be made but I am determined to maintain the lowest levels of recorded crime in Cleveland, while putting people first and protecting our frontline services.”
Cleveland also topped the tables for the largest percentage reductions in burglaries in buildings other than a dwelling – down 26 per cent – and offences against vehicles - down 27 per cent.