New police chief is to be named

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CLEVELAND’S first Police Crime Commissioner will be elected today.

A total of four candidates are in the running for the top police post and whoever wins will be accountable for how crime is tackled in the Cleveland area.

The candidates are Sultan Alam (Independent), Barry Coppinger (Labour), Ken Lupton (Conservatives) and Joe Michna (The Green Party).

Voting took place yesterday across the Cleveland Force area and the votes were due to be counted today with the result expected to be announced late afternoon.

Commissioners will have the power to appoint chief constables and to call on them to retire or resign.

Their responsibilities include holding the chief constable to account, securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective force, setting the police precept and budget and producing a police and crime plan.

There is a Government recommended £70,000 salary for the four-year post.

Police and crime commissioner (PCCs) will aim to:

● Cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.

● Provide stronger and more transparent accountability of the police.

● PCCs will ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and will improve local relationships. They will also work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level.

● PCCs will not be expected to run the police. The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account.

Polling stations were open between 7am and 10pm yesterday and once voting closed the votes were taken to the Mill House Leisure Centre to be verified.

From there, the votes were transported to Thornaby Pavilion leisure centre, in Thornaby, ahead of the count, which started at 11am today.

Visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk for coverage as the result is announced.