Cleveland Police looking for seventh chief constable in less than a decade

Cleveland Police are looking for their seventh new chief constable in less than a decade.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 2:42 pm

Richard Lewis is standing down to take the post of chief constable of Dyfed-Powys in his native Wales.

Mr Lewis took over at Cleveland in 2019 and was praised by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner for improvements that have been made.

Mr Turner said the chief constable was moving back to Wales to be with his family and wished him well.

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Cleveland Police Chief Constable Richard Lewis in Hartlepool shortly after his 2019 appointment.

The PCC said: "I've spoken at length to Richard and know that he wants to move back to Wales for family reasons.

"As a family man myself, I can understand his decision-making and wish him well in his new role.

"Richard has been at the helm of the improvements that we have seen at Cleveland Police and has achieved a great deal in his time here."

Mr Turner said the new chief should be an "ethical and strong leader" and who is committed to reducing serious violence in homes and on the streets.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Steve Turner and outgoing Chief Constable Richard Lewis.

He added: "I will leave no stone unturned to find the right chief constable, who shares my passion for the area and who will help me put the pride back into Cleveland Police."

In September 2019, the force became the first to be officially rated as failing in all areas.

Former chief constable Sean Price had been sacked for gross misconduct in 2012, officers were under investigation after journalists' phones were unlawfully monitored and there had been long-standing claims of racism within the ranks.

In February 2021, an official inspection deemed it to be improving although watchdogs said there was still hard work to do.

Mr Lewis's appointment to lead Dyfed-Powys is subject to the local police and crime panel's approval.

He praised staff for their hard work in making improvements, adding: "I have every faith that the force will achieve its vision of delivering outstanding policing for communities.

"Leaving Cleveland Police is not a decision that I have taken lightly, and I have considered many different options, but I am moving back to Wales to be closer to family.”

Pingdemic is “crippling” frontline policing: Page 7

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