70 new officers on the way to Cleveland Police as bosses fast-track recruitment drive
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has welcomed a fast tracked police recruitment drive which will see dozens of extra officers join the force early next year.
The boost comes after Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger gave the go ahead to fund 72 additional officers ahead of schedule.
They are set to join the ranks of the force in the new year as part of the recruitment of 200 officers in 2019-20.
Mr Hill said: “Hartlepool is crying out for more bobbies on the beat and for a return to community policing, and while police ranks have been depleted by 500 officers since 2010 due to the Government’s austerity agenda and police cuts this move by a Labour PCC to hold the Tories to their election pledge of boosting police numbers is bold and innovative.
“Fast tracking the recruiting of an additional 72 officers to the ranks is the right thing to do and prioritising the recruitment of up to 200 next year is essential.
“This move, in anticipation of more Government funding, commits more resources to tackling crime on our streets and in light of recent reports in the national news about the lack of police numbers in Hartlepool I will be pushing hard for more boots on the ground here in the town and a fairer share of those resources.
“It’s what my constituents expect and what they deserve.”
Mr Hill has previously spoken out about cuts to police and the level of cover seen in Hartlepool at times.
Around a year ago, a BBC report revealed the town had just 10 officers on duty on a Saturday night for a town of more than 90,000 people.
In July, incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to increase police officers nationally by 20,000 within three years.
Mr Coppinger said: “Using additional government funding and through good financial management, we have been able to accelerate recruitment to get more officers on the streets as early as possible.
“We must take the Government at its word with regard to the funding they have promised.
“A funding increase will allow us to continue recruitment and training throughout next year and increase officer numbers further.”