Hartlepool and East Durham police commissioners react to 20,000 new officers pledge from Boris Johnson

Police chiefs for Hartlepool and East Durham have welcomed new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to recruit 20,000 more police officers within the next three years.

By Mark Payne
Saturday, 27 July, 2019, 06:00
20,000 extra police are due to be recruited nationwide.

Cleveland and Durham police and crime commissioners Barry Coppinger and Ron Hogg say they are pleased at the announcement after their forces have been reduced by 900 officers in total since 2010.

Mr Coppinger said it was a sign Mr Johnson recognised previous policing cuts had been a ‘major mistake’.

And Mr Hogg said he will argue for Durham Constabulary to receive their fair share of new officers.

Mr Coppinger said: “This announcement marks a significant success for everyone who has backed my long running campaign for fairer funding and the reversal of cuts to police numbers and I am pleased that the Government has now finally seen sense.

“I will look forward to understanding in detail how decisions will be made to confirm the actual number of additional officers Cleveland will receive and will be using the 500 that has been lost as an important benchmark.

“With such overwhelming evidence to show the impact these cuts have had on our streets, I have been anticipating such a U-turn in policy and have already asked the Chief Constable to confirm how additional officers can be utilised to best effect, supporting the improvements Cleveland Police need to make for victims and the public of Cleveland, and also how swiftly he can recruit, train and deploy new police officers and members of the special constabulary.”

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Cleveland Police is already recruiting around 120 more police officers this financial year.

Barry Coppinger Cleveland Police Crime Commissioner.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Graham added: “The Government’s announcement of additional officers on top of this is great news and very welcome.”

Mr Hogg said more detail was needed and the funding must come from central government rather than increasing taxpayers’ share of the council tax.

“If the Government is going to replace Officers which the force lost as a result of austerity, then that is clearly something to be welcomed,” he said.

“I will be arguing to ensure that forces such as Durham receive a fair share of the new allocation, as soon as possible.”