Hartlepool MP calls for government action on crime

Hartlepool’s MP has called for government action to tackle policing shortages leaving people feeling ‘abandoned’ and ‘unprotected’.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 17:18
Mike Hill

Town MP Mike Hill has called for government action as he highlighted the ongoing plight of policing cuts during a parliamentary debate.

He says the Skint Britain documentary advertised Hartlepool to criminals as ‘unprotected’.

Richard Lewis Chief Constable Cleveland Police Force.

During the debate on crime and anti-social behaviour: small towns in the House of Commons, Mr Hill said the number of incidents that police have failed or not had the capacity to deal with is increasing, ‘according to his mailbag’.

He said: “Only this week, a 48-year-old man was held down by two men and robbed in broad daylight, at half-past one in the afternoon, outside our local hospital. That is not Hartlepool.”

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Cleveland Police has suffered a 37% reduction in staffing budget since 2010, which has resulted in the loss of 500 frontline officers.

He added: “The net effect of policing cuts on Hartlepool was made clear to the nation when my constituency became the focus of a BBC film that was broadcast on the national news; it brought home the stark reality that in a town of 92,028 at the last count, only 10 police officers were on duty on a Saturday night.

“Understandably, the reaction of my constituents was a feeling that streets and communities had been abandoned, and that the film was an advert to criminals, showing them that Hartlepool lay unprotected.”

He said the town has ‘one of the best’ multi-agency crime prevention teams in the area and a ‘strong neighbourhood policing ethic’.

​Chief Constable Richard Lewis, visiting Hartlepool last month, said: “There isn’t a chief constable in the country who wouldn’t tell you that he or she needs more resources and of course that is true for here as it is for anywhere else.

“What I want my staff to focus on is the resources that we do have and what we can do with those resources.”