Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger to stand down after damning report on the force
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner is stepping down after a damning report on the force.
Barry Coppinger has announced he will not be standing for re-election when his current term runs out next year after an inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services rated the force as inadequate in all areas.
Cleveland Police received the lowest possible rating in each of three main inspection areas for effectiveness at preventing and investigating crime, protecting vulnerable people and tackling serious organised crime; how efficiently they manage demand and plan for the future; and how legitimately they treat the public, how ethically they behave, and how they treat their workforce.
New Chief Constable Richard Lewis says work to deliver improvements has already begun but will take ‘many months and years’.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has been sharply critical of Mr Coppinger and called on him to step down last month.
In a statement today, Mr Coppinger confirmed he would be relinquishing his role.
“Following a weekend of reflection I am today announcing that I will not be standing at the PCC election in May 2020,” he said.
“I hope this will enable everyone to now get behind the new Chief Constable Richard Lewis and support him as he takes forward robust plans to drive forward improvements.
“For that to happen, it requires everyone to be pulling in the same direction and it has become clear to me the current focus on me and calls for my resignation will not allow that to happen. Richard needs to be able to get on with the job without such distractions.
“Much progress has been made to move Cleveland Police on from unresolved problems dating back four decades. When I first came into office I made a decision to shine a light on what had gone on, to resolve those issues, reforming approaches to standards and ethics so the force could move forward.
“I expect this work to continue so the Chief Constable and the next PCC do not have to spend so much time and energy on dealing with historical wrongdoing.”