72 extra Cleveland Police officers to be recruited 'very quickly'
AN extra 72 officers will be coming to Cleveland Police “very quickly” as part of a new recruitment drive.
The Home Office revealed the extra coppers as part of a drive to bring in extra 20,000 officers in the next three years.
However, Cleveland has lost more than 500 officers and PCSOs since 2010 and there has been more clamour for the numbers to be brought back.
The new recruits are set to be out on their beats before the end of 2020/21, according to the government.
Assistant Chief Officer Brian Thomas welcomed the boost of extra officers and revealed Cleveland was working to get the 72 coppers recruited quickly.
He said: “We’ve been working with the government, since the announcement of the additional officers was made, to plan for this uplift and consequently we’re able to recruit the additional 72 officers revealed this week very quickly.
“As a force we know policing success isn’t just about numbers, it’s much more complicated – and we are working hard to ensure that our leaders are effectively supporting officers in their core role of preventing crime and protecting the most vulnerable in our community’’
Cleveland has faced a tumultuous month after it was rated inadequate in all areas by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.
New Chief Constable Richard Lewis is seeking to turn the force with a shift back to neighbourhood policing.
Meanwhile, the force is recruiting a separate extra 120 officers due to be on the streets of Teesside before April next year.
Police and crime commissioner Barry Coppinger gave the extra numbers from the government a cautious welcome.
He said: “I’m pleased that the government is recognising the strength of the case I’ve been making for many years.
“Cleveland needs more police. Every community I visit in Cleveland tells me they want more police on the streets and I think there is a strong case for more.
“We have tremendous needs, issues and problems to tackle here – we need the police resources to do it here.”
On the back of the new officers, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the public wanted to see more police officers on their streets.
John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said investment in policing was “long overdue”.
He said: “These figures have been based on the current funding formula models and while this method is not perfect, I accept it is the only solution available to deliver the numbers quickly in year one.
“We now need to ensure that the formula is revisited for future years to ensure a fairer allocation of officers across all forces.
“But this is certainly a positive start and will provide a much-needed boost to my members and the communities they serve.”