- PCC deeply concerned by Force’s failure to protect vulnerable people
- Scrutiny and strategic direction will hold Chief to account
- Force must make best use of resources available
- Calls to reverse cuts to meet public expectation for proactive policing
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has set his expectations for the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, to ensure the Force delivers the service local people deserve and expect.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded the Force as ‘inadequate’ in efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy in their report published today (Friday 27th September).
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I am deeply concerned at the worrying contents of this report, in particular the failure of Cleveland Police to consistently protect the most vulnerable.
“I am directly elected as the public’s representative for policing and victims and the Force’s recent performance is simply not good enough.
“I have received assurance from Richard Lewis that he took swift action as soon as he became aware of the failings.”
Scrutiny by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, early indications from HMICFRS and the observations of the Chief Constable all identified significant failings within the Force earlier this year. A Strategic Direction drawn up by the PCC requires the Chief to assess the state of the Force and develop a plan to transform it.
Mr Coppinger said: “I was disturbed to find that some senior leaders within the Force had provided the Chief, and subsequently myself and the HMI, with incomplete information. This prevents me from gaining a full understanding of the extent of the problems and prevents the Chief from effectively responding to demand.
“I have demanded of the Force open, honest and candid responses to my scrutiny in the future.”
The PCC will monitor progress in future through a deepened and amplified scrutiny programme and regular meetings with HMI Sir Tom Winsor.
Mr Coppinger also believes for the Force to deliver the service the public expect, cuts to policing and other public services must be reversed.
He said: “In recent years, the Force has not only had to had to deal with reduced resources, they have also had to deal with increased crime and antisocial behaviour, the roots of which lie in cuts to youth workers, adult and social care, community wardens, health and other public services.
“I share the public’s call for proactive neighbourhood policing. We must give the Chief the resources to provide this and the Force must improve the way they manage this increased demand by deploying those resources effectively and efficiently.”
A link to the HMICFRS report: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/peel-assessments/peel-2018/cleveland/
The Strategic Direction issued to the Chief Constable in June can be found at the following link: https://www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/Document-Library/Decisions/Made-By-the-PCC/2019/June-2019/1drf156877-1.pdf
Link to Sir Tom Winsor’s recent speech on the state of the criminal justice system: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/wp-content/uploads/hmcic-lecture-cambridge-university-18092019.pdf
Posted on Friday 27th September 2019