Chance to quiz crime chief

Barry Coppinger
Barry Coppinger

COUNCILLORS and residents will have the chance to quiz a policing boss about how he intends to tackle crime and disorder in Hartlepool.

Barry Coppinger, who was elected as Cleveland’s first Police and Crime Commissioner last November, will attend a meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s scrutiny co-ordinating committee

Mr Coppinger, who has already publicly stated that cutting crime and disorder will be his key focus, will give a short presentation before answering a series of questions from councillors in the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, from 2pm on Friday.

He will cover issues like:

l Funding to tackle drugs and alcohol related issues in Hartlepool;

l The potential merger of Hartlepool and Stockton districts;

l And how the funding gap as a result of cuts to the main policing grant will be bridged.

Scrutiny committee councillors and members of the public attending the meeting will then have the opportunity to put further questions to the commissioner.

Councillor Marjorie James, chairman of the scrutiny co-ordinating committee, said: “Everyone is looking forward to listening to what the commissioner has to say, in particular how he intends to deliver efficient and effective police services across Hartlepool.

“The meeting represents the beginning of what will hopefully be regular dialogue between the commissioner and the council to ensure that we get the best possible police services for our town.

“Local people are welcome to attend the meeting and they will have the chance to put questions.”

Mr Coppinger, who said he is looking forward to the meeting, said: “Since taking office I have held a number of meetings in Hartlepool, talking with local officers, other agencies and the public and I have been very impressed with the commitment of everyone to work with the force in tackling the issues which affect the local community.

“I am delighted to have this further opportunity to respond to questions raised by members of the committee and the public, and to explain both my priorities and very significant challenges in safeguarding front-line policing in the face of severe financial pressures.”

For further information about the meeting, contact the council on (01429) 524142.