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MP presses home Hartlepool’s policing needs in meeting with Chief Constable

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale (left) met with MP Mike Hill.
Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale (left) met with MP Mike Hill.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill pressed the policing needs of the town when he met with Cleveland Police’s Chief Constable.

Mr Hill has been outspoken about cuts to police budgets which he believes are linked to rises in crime in the town and has called for more bobbies on the streets.

He raised issues in Hartlepool with Mike Veale, who became Chief Constable of Cleveland Police in March.

Mr Hill said: “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to meet the new police chief for the Cleveland Force and to be able to have an honest and forthright conversation with him about policing needs in Hartlepool, like the need to see action and enforcement, the return of community policing, targeting drug dealers and the many criminals who now believe they have a free hand to offend because there are not enough bobbies out there to do something about it.”

He said despite budget cuts which have resulted in fewer officers within the force, he was impressed by Chief Constable Veale’s plans for tackling offenders across the patch and reversing the trend of increased criminal activity becoming the norm.

Figures last week showed robberies in Hartlepool more than doubled between April 2017 and March 2018.

Mr Hill said he was also impressed at the force’s response to serious crime including the quick apprehension of a murder suspect in Stockton last week.

He said Hartlepool needs a strong police force to support communities working to improve their neighbourhoods adding: “While I clearly can’t say what those plans are I can say to our beleaguered communities who are screaming out for their streets to be made safe again it looks like we have a new chief of police who is determined to tackle that head on, and who recognises that actions speak louder than words.

“Time will tell, and Cleveland is a small force with many diverse problems, but there is no doubting the new Chief’s ambitions, which are fully endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, and for the sake of Hartlepool I hope he succeeds in his mission.”