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PCC announces preferred candidate for Chief Constable

Richard Lewis and PCC Barry Coppinger

Richard Lewis and Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger

  • Record number of applications for the post
  • College of Policing praises recruitment process
  • Interview panels include staff, public service representatives and partner organisations

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has today selected Richard Lewis as his preferred candidate for Chief Constable of Cleveland Police.

Mr Lewis has a varied career, with extensive experience in both strategic and operational policing, most recently as Deputy Chief Constable at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Mr Coppinger said: “I am delighted to select Richard as my preferred candidate for the role of Chief Constable. During the recruitment process he proved to be a dedicated and inspirational leader with a clear plan for driving the Force forward on its journey of transformation and improvement.

Mr Lewis was selected following a rigorous recruitment and assessment process, developed in partnership with the College of Policing - the national centre of excellence for police leadership and recruitment.   

A record seven applications were received by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, with three exceptional candidates shortlisted for the assessment process.

The shortlisted candidates faced a rigorous four-part process:

  • Personality profiling to assess preferences for how they approach their work.
  • An internal panel made up of police officers, staff and volunteers, as well as representatives from a range of staff networks, staff associations and Unison.
  • An external panel consisting of local and regional partners.
  • A final appointment panel, chaired by the PCC.

Mr Coppinger added: “To receive seven applications in today’s policing job market is a testament to the appeal of Cleveland as a top-class destination for officers looking to develop their career in policing.

“It sends a clear message that Cleveland is an area that presents an exciting and challenging opportunity for someone with the right vision and leadership.

“It was my priority to give the workforce of Cleveland Police an active role in the selection process for the Chief Constable and I visited the four local policing areas to hear directly from officers and staff about what they wanted from their next leader.

“It is important to realise that what I have announced today is a proposed appointment. Before any appointment can legally be made it requires the confirmation of the Police and Crime Panel. They meet on April 9 and I shall not be making any further comment until after their decision.”

The recruitment process was designed with the support of experts from the College of Policing and their Chief Executive Mike Cunningham was a member of the final appointment panel.

Mr Cunningham said: "I have been impressed at the depth of this recruitment process which has resulted in a strong field of applicants and high calibre shortlist.

"The inclusiveness of the appointment process, in which candidates appear before various panels, is to be applauded and is one we would recommend to other forces. It has allowed key local organisations and public representatives to play a full part."

The Cleveland Police and Crime Panel will now consider Mr Lewis’ appointment at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday 9th April 2019.


Posted on Wednesday 27th March 2019
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