Message of thanks for interim Cleveland Police chief as new boss is set to take the reins next week

Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner has thanked a top cop who run the force for the last three months while it searched for a new chief constable.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 18:18 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 18:24 pm
PCC BarryCoppingerand Interim Chief Constable Lee Freeman at the Community Safety Hub.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, has thanked interim Cleveland Police chief constable Lee Freeman who run the force for three months ahead of the imminent start for new chief constable Richard Lewis next week.

Mr Coppinger said: “Lee has demonstrated all of the qualities I expect of a top-class Chief Constable, putting service to the public first - for example, implementing significant improvements in call-taking within the Force Control Room.

“His leadership has provided stability to the strategic leadership of the Force at a time of uncertainty. Lee has reinforced strong industrial relations with frontline officers and staff.

“He has been a confident advocate for Cleveland Police and has championed the Force with partners and stakeholders at a local and national level.

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“More than anything, Lee has shown a clear understanding of the challenges facing Cleveland, using his knowledge of the many similar circumstances in Humberside to develop strategies for transformation and improvement.

“He has been very supportive of Richard Lewis as Cleveland’s next Chief Constable and has taken every opportunity to provide him with a comprehensive handover, to ensure a seamless transition between leaders.

“I know Lee will continue to be a regional ally for Cleveland in the years to come and I wish him ever more success as he returns to his role at Humberside.

“Richard will take up his post as Chief Constable next week. I look forward to formally welcoming him to Cleveland and working with him to keep all of our communities safe and to continuing my campaign for fairer funding for policing and for Cleveland.”