Responding to the State of Policing report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said:
“Sir Thomas Winsor’s report makes many valuable observations about the current state of UK police forces and the widespread reforms needed to make them more efficient and effective.
“HMICFRS have the explicit remit and capacity to provide in-depth insight into the operational reality of policing. The concerns Sir Thomas has highlighted about inefficiencies at Cleveland Police are of significant concern to me as Cleveland’s elected representative for policing and crime.
“My Office have been assured by the Force in November 2018 and again in May this year that this equipment was in use across the organisation and the roll-out of new technology was underway.
“Chief Constable Richard Lewis and I are in agreement that the Force’s current level of service is not acceptable and improvements must be urgently made to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. An open and transparent partnership between the two of us will be crucial to making this vision a reality.
“The Strategic Direction I have issued sets a clear framework for the Chief Constable in tackling these challenges. Through a more forensic scrutiny process, I will continue to hold him to account and seek assurances on how the Force will tackle the most serious challenges they face and prioritise urgent work to ensure that the public are kept safe and feel safe.
“I am pleased to note the confidence expressed in the Chief Constable and his team by Sir Thomas. It is imperative that they drive forward improvements across the Force and I will be monitoring their progress closely to ensure the people of Cleveland get the policing service they deserve.
“It is important to acknowledge the many other helpful observations the report makes about the changing nature of crime and the importance of managing the expectations of the public, noting that the idealised vision of a police officer on every street corner cannot realistically be achieved in modern policing.
“It also recognises the unique challenges faced by police forces in deprived areas, as a result of the reliance on local council tax to ‘top up’ funding from Central Government. I would support Sir Thomas’ view that such inequalities in police funding cannot continue.
“Cleveland’s force polices some of the most deprived wards in the country and should be funded fairly to do so – crucially though, whilst I fight the Force’s corner for fairer funding, the Chief Constable must deliver with the resources that the public invest in Cleveland’s policing. I will hold him to account for doing so.
“As Sir Thomas makes clear, the country’s criminal justice system is not operating effectively to protect victims and disrupt the cycle of offending. As PCC, I’m committed to working with partners across Cleveland to make significant improvements to the system, by encouraging partnership working, holding inefficient practices to account and prioritising the needs of victims.”
You can read the full report here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/state-of-policing-the-annual-assessment-of-policing-in-england-and-wales-2018/
Posted on Friday 5th July 2019