Members of the public are invited to submit questions to Chief Constable Richard Lewis for a special scrutiny session on the challenges facing Cleveland Police as they enter 2021.
As the public’s representative for policing and community safety, Acting Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Oldroyd has a statutory duty to hold the Chief Constable to account in delivering an effective and efficient police service.
As part of this, Mrs Oldroyd is opening up her scrutiny programme to the community by seeking their questions and putting them directly to the Chief.
The questions will be collated and put to Mr Lewis at a dedicated session which will be recorded and shared with the public.
The coming year promises to be a challenging one for the Force as it continues its Road to Improvement programme and tackles high levels of crime amid the backdrop of the pandemic.
Regular scrutiny sessions by the OPCC allow the Commissioner to hold the Chief to account on the progress being made and flag up areas of concern.
Mrs Oldroyd said: “Our office regularly hear the concerns and worries of the public about crime and safety in their area, through correspondence and complaints directly from residents.
“Our office made a commitment to include public participation in our scrutiny and accountability processes, to ensure their worries and concerns are put directly to those leading Cleveland Police.
“Whilst we cannot guarantee that every question submitted will be used, this is an opportunity for the public to gain insight into what progress the Force has made on the Road to Improvement programme and in other key areas”
Earlier this month, Cleveland made national headlines after figures suggested the area has the highest rate of crime in the country.
Mrs Oldroyd is providing residents with the opportunity to question the Chief about this and any other policing concerns they may have.
She said: “I share the concern of local residents at these figures.
“We know that there are a range of influences and social issues that drive high levels of offending behaviour, including poverty, lack of opportunity for employment and education, trauma in childhood and mental health problems.
“These are not issues Cleveland Police can solve alone. Through effective partnership working we’re developing schemes to get ‘upstream’ of crime, to prevent the police being called in the first place.
“Nevertheless, the public will rightly expect the force to play a lead role in reducing crime and it’s important that they have the opportunity to seek the facts behind the figures and hear how the Force plan to respond.”
Questions must be submitted by Monday 1 February 2021.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a question – or contact the OPCC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Please note – Not all questions submitted will be selected. The Acting PCC always wants to hear about public experiences of Cleveland Police, but can’t usually ask formal scrutiny questions about ongoing specific criminal cases or complaints.
Our office will be happy to assist separately with any such concerns and can be contacted on pcc@Cleveland.pnn.police.uk or on 01642 301861.