Hartlepool will have more police on duty through the night – PCC Barry Coppinger
You may have seen headlines in recent weeks about the changes to neighbourhood policing across Cleveland.
I want to take this opportunity to dispel some myths about these temporary arrangements and reassure people in Hartlepool that officers will be continuing to work in their area.
Due to extremely high levels of demand, neighbourhood officers will be working with response policing teams so the force can better meet the current level of demand and provide a swifter response to victims.
This temporary arrangement will see officers continuing to work in communities across Hartlepool, but they will be prioritising the most urgent 999 calls the force receives.
It does not mean a reduction of officers – in fact it means that the force will have more officers on duty throughout the night.
This includes PCSOs, sergeants and inspectors continuing to deliver neighbourhood policing across Hartlepool, and I have been updated on some excellent results the team has achieved recently.
In Hart Village, Operation Checkpoint has been tackling problems including nuisance bikes and quad bikes in Hart Village and other areas.
The Neighbourhood Police Team also had a notable success in the Cornwall Street area after local residents raised concerns about drug-related activity in the area.
Seven people were arrested and a quantity of drugs seized.
In addition police are now working with partners to secure closure order on the property involved.
Of course I would like our new Chief Constable to have at their disposal the 500 officers that we have lost through the Government cutbacks of recent years.
I will continue to campaign for fairer funding for Cleveland Police and in the meantime expect the force to deliver the best service to the public with the limited resources they have.
And finally, I have selected Richard Lewis as my preferred candidate for the next Chief Constable of Cleveland Police following a rigorous recruitment process.
Mr Lewis has an excellent career in policing rising to Deputy Chief Constable at Dyfed-Powys Police.
The record levels of interest in the role confirm my belief that Cleveland presents an exciting opportunity for those looking for a challenging and inspiring environment to develop their career in policing.
Three exceptional candidates were shortlisted and faced a robust assessment process designed in conjunction with the College of Policing – the national centre of excellence for police leadership and recruitment.
The three separate interview panels included one of police officers, staff and volunteers, one of local and regional partners and the final appointment panel, which I chaired.
Richard will now face questions from the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, April 9.