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Response from Cleveland's PCC and Temporary Chief Constable to MP James Wharton's Comments in Media

Exec team - Jan 2016

PCC Barry Coppinger with Temp Chief Constable Iain Spittal

It is being reported in local media today that James Wharton MP has made negative comments about the Force, saying that the organisation is 'rotten'. Below are the strong comments issued by Police & Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and Temporary Chief Constable Iain Spittal.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “Cleveland Police is an employer of local people, whose families live in the local area and whose work means that local communities and vital small and multi-national businesses are supported. James Wharton should use the opportunities he has as northern powerhouse minister to speak about what is good about Teesside.

"He should be balanced in his approach by talking and recognising our hardworking and dedicated officers and staff and the work that they do. Instead he uses sweeping critical statements which have a huge effect on our cops and staff – the people who matter.

“I wrote to James Wharton to reiterate what I have already said in public, that I would far sooner invest in taking measures to address the issues that have been identified rather than investing in another expensive inspection process.”

Temporary Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “I am extremely disappointed with Mr Wharton suggesting that Cleveland Police is “rotten” and I strongly refute this damaging and negative statement. 

"Every day the men and women of Cleveland Police work under enormous pressure to protect local people and communities. The truth is that lives are saved, children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and criminals are taken off the street.

“Our men and women put themselves in danger and their own lives on the line to protect local people. To suggest they are rotten is outrageous.

“I have openly acknowledged that there are elements of what we do, and how we do it that we have to improve. This is not something that I take lightly. I have and will continue to engage with a range of professionals from outside of Cleveland Police, including HMIC,  to assist us in developing our organisation and the service we provide.

“I have, as recently as yesterday, spoken with Mr Wharton regarding the work my officers and staff undertake in support of his electorate, reminding him of the outstanding commitment they give to their roles. It seems to me that he is able to acknowledge the outstanding work privately but prefers to criticise in public.

“I have invited Mr Wharton to come and meet the teams that serve his electorate, engage with them and then be able to speak from an informed view as opposed to the loud rhetoric that he seems to favour, but thus far he has declined.”

 

Posted on Friday 5th February 2016
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