I am grateful to the Mail for the opportunity to have a regular column to update you on community safety issues.
Last weekend was International Holocaust Memorial Day, where we remembered six million Jewish people; five million Slavs; three million ethnic Poles; 200,000 Romani people; 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people; and 9,000 gay men killed by the Nazi regime.
It is important we never forget what happens when intolerance is taken to extremes.
I support local organisations like Show Racism the Red Card and Media Cultured, who do positive work in our schools and colleges to raise awareness.
I’m also aware of the work of many groups and individuals here, showing all that’s best about our local communities, including helping those fleeing persecution from elsewhere.
As you may be aware, Mike Veale has resigned and so we are looking for a new Chief Constable.
I am disappointed Mr Veale’s time with the force has ended this way and the negative coverage it attracted. This matter is now in the hands of the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
I am confident any subsequent examination will find my office has handled this matter properly and in a timely manner.
Concerns about the behaviour of one individual – albeit a very senior officer – do not reflect the outstanding work of more than 1,500 people across the organisation as a whole, often in difficult circumstances.
Humberside Chief Constable Lee Freeman has now joined us for three months as Interim Chief Constable as we recruit a new chief.
Any internet search on Google will tell you police forces up and down the country are facing challenges, and we have faced our fair share.
The reforms we have implemented, including our approaches to standards and equality, have changed the organisation for the better – these changes will stand us in good stead for the future.
I am working on our budget for next year and am aware from consultation how supportive you are of our officers, and that there is a desire for more investment in community policing.
We are looking at how we can better direct resources at front-line policing need.
The dedicated and compassionate officers and staff, who bravely serve our communities every day, will continue to work hard to keep you safe.
We are also keen to encourage volunteers, and also are open to recruitment for Special Constables.
I was discussing this and other issues last week with residents at Foggy Furze and also at a consultation in Middleton Grange shopping centre.
I’ve also joined with Cleveland Police to launch the brand new ROSE Awards. You can nominate if you’ve had outstanding help from our police officers, staff or volunteers.
You can also nominate local resident heroes for the Courage and Public Service awards.
More information from the Cleveland Police website, or contact my office on 01642 301653.
Nominations any time, and we will periodically hold awards ceremonies.
We look forward to hearing from you!