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PCC secures stable, long-term leadership for Force

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Chief Constable Richard Lewis and PCC Barry Coppinger

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has extended the contract of Chief Constable Richard Lewis for a further three years, securing his leadership of the Force until at least 2027.

Mr Lewis was appointed to lead Cleveland Police by the PCC in April 2019, joining from Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales. 

Since his arrival, Mr Lewis has focused on driving forward a programme of organisational improvement, including a reinvigoration of neighbourhood policing, improved processes for identifying vulnerability and the establishment of a new Chief Officer team.

In response to a strategic direction issued by PCC Barry Coppinger last year, Mr Lewis has developed a detailed assessment of the Force’s current state and identified areas in need of significant change. Mr Lewis has made a personal commitment to serve his entire policing career in Cleveland.

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “Cleveland is an incredibly challenging area to police and requires a Chief Constable who has the determination and capability to inspire the workforce and assure local residents that the Force will keep them safe.

“Richard has impressed not only me, but a range of key partners from across the Cleveland area, with his dedication to driving change, exploring collaboration and improving the service provided to communities.

“His plans for the Force demonstrate a long-term vision with many large-scale changes, the timeframe for which would exceed his current contractual arrangements. It’s only right that his time with the Force is secured as far as possible, to allow these plans to come to fruition.

“Securing Richard’s position at the helm which will bring much-need stability and reassurance to hardworking officers, staff and volunteers at Cleveland Police. I know it will be also welcome news for the public, who want to see the Force better understand and serve their needs.”

Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “When I was appointed Chief Constable I said that I was committed to working for our communities over the long term. I knew when I took up this office that my initial contract was for a five year term, but I have said from the start that I hoped to be here for longer than that.

"I noticed very quickly after coming to Cleveland and speaking to a number of officers, staff and members of the public, that confidence was something that was lacking. That confidence is something I can build as a Chief Constable. I can do this best by further committing myself to the Force and so I am pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner has extended my contract beyond the initial five year term.

“Cleveland Police continues to face many challenges, but through new leadership, a focus on our core priorities and a commitment to return to neighbourhood policing, I am confident that we can make real progress and build confidence. It is my responsibility, with support from our new Chief Officer team, to provide the stable, consistent and clear leadership that our communities deserve”

Posted on Tuesday 4th February 2020
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