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Police and Crime Panel confirm Richard Lewis as Chief Constable

Richard Lewis and PCC Barry Coppinger

Chief Constable Richard Lewis and PCC Barry Coppinger

Richard Lewis has been confirmed as the new Chief Constable of Cleveland Police following a meeting of the county’s Police and Crime Panel last night (Tuesday 9th April 2019).

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.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger’s proposed appointment was approved at a confirmation hearing which took place at the Town Hall in Stockton-On-Tees yesterday evening.

Richard is currently the temporary Deputy Chief Constable at Dyfed Powys Police, where he has served for the entirety of his policing career so far.

His suitability for the role was tested during a two-day assessment process which included:

  • Personality profiling to assess his approach to 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 representing a wide range of local public sector, criminal justice and charitable organisations committed to keeping Cleveland’s communities safe
  • A final appointment panel, chaired by the PCC

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.

Chair of the all-party Police and Crime Panel, Cllr Norma Stephenson, said: “The panel raised a number of questions and issues which were answered fully by Richard and we were unanimous in our view that he should be Cleveland’s Chief Constable. We look forward to a long working relationship with him in delivering the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan”

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I’m delighted that the panel have confirmed my preferred candidate Richard Lewis as the next Chief Constable of Cleveland Police.

“I congratulate him on securing the role after what was a very rigorous and demanding recruitment process – I was pleased to learn, after the main interview panel had reached a view, that he was also the first choice of our internal staff panel and the wide range of partner organisations who took part in the selection process.

“From the outset Richard displayed a deep understanding of the challenges facing Cleveland Police and impressed every panel he met with his clear vision of organisational development and strategic direction for the Force.

“He has previous experience in upholding high levels of professional standards and has demonstrated a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“I believe Richard will provide the long-term inspirational leadership needed to drive the Force forward on its journey of organisational and cultural transformation and I look forward to working closely with him over at least the next five years in building Cleveland Police’s bright future.”                                                                                                         

Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “I grew up in a steel town and feel the communities and people here are very familiar to me. I am beyond proud to have been selected to serve as Chief Constable and am committed to working for our communities over the long term. My focus now is Cleveland Police."

Mr Lewis will take up his post on Monday 29th April 2019.


Richard , a Welsh speaker from Carmarthenshire, joined Dyfed Powys Police in 2000 and worked as a uniformed police officer across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

He worked his way up the ranks, serving as the Head of Professional Standards and as Assistant Chief Constable before being appointed as Temporary Deputy Chief Constable.

In 2010 Mr Lewis spent six months on prestigious educational programme Fulbright at Pennsylvania State University and New York Police Department, where he studied the community impact of deaths following police contact. He is currently studying for a PhD in covert policing.

He is Wales policing lead for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).


Posted on Wednesday 10th April 2019
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