19/01/2017

Cleveland Police Leaders Meet Minister for Fair Deal for Teesside

The Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable for Cleveland have met with the Policing Minister to call for Teessiders not to be forgotten in plans for the new police funding formula

Barry Coppinger and Iain Spittal called the meeting with Policing Minister Brandon Lewis at Westminster to ensure a fair deal for taxpayers in Cleveland when decisions are made to allocate money to police forces across the country.

The briefing to the Minister, held on Monday, highlighted the plight of the local area, including the vast and significant industrial landscape, mixed with the levels of need, deprivation and vulnerability across communities.

Both Mr. Coppinger and Mr. Spittal welcome the police funding formula proposals, but stress that importance should be placed on sufficient weighting for Forces representing areas most in need of support and vulnerable to harm.

It is thought that if funding is given to areas based on the number of people living in them, then Cleveland will be disadvantaged. Although Cleveland Police covers a small geographic area, the issues and policing needs are similar to larger metropolitan police forces and police leaders in Cleveland feel the investment should reflect this.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “It’s absolutely right that we take our views into the heart of Westminster and fly the flag for the people of Teesside.

“We have a huge industrial network that requires specialist policing, and people living in communities where deprivation impacts on their lives. Cleveland is an area to be proud of, but we shouldn’t shy away from giving an honest and open account of what life is like for many people – and how funding for policing should reflect the social needs of our residents.”

Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “The meeting with the Minister was positive and we were able to brief him in more detail on our future plans around collaboration with other blue-light services and how we are allocating our resources through 2017 and beyond.

“Our vision is to create safer and stronger communities, but we can only do this with the right resources to tackle crime and address issues. We have a smaller number of people living in Cleveland compared to many other police forces, but it is an area of great need, and differs hugely from the more rural and larger patches.

“We have extended an offer for the Minister to visit Cleveland and find out about the innovative work that we are doing to keep people on Teesside safe with the funding currently available to us."