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Cleveland Police chief pledges improvements, admits force ‘failing’ some people

Richard Lewis, who has been in charge of Cleveland Police for eight weeks, says professional standards will be raised.

Chief Constable Richard Lewis has vowed to make improvements (Cleveland Police)
Chief Constable Richard Lewis has vowed to make improvements (Cleveland Police)

A new Chief Constable has told the public his force must improve as it was “failing” people who most need help.

In an open letter Richard Lewis, the chief of Cleveland Police, his deputy and assistant outlined steps they will undertake to raise standards.

The force has been hit by a series of scandals, including former chief constable Sean Price being sacked for gross misconduct in 2012; seven officers under investigation after journalists’ phones were unlawfully monitored and long-standing claims of racism within the ranks.

The new chief, who came into the role in April, said improvements will be made in how the force polices its towns.

More will be done to protect vulnerable people, raise professional standards and there will be a return to a focus on neighbourhood policing to detect crime and tackle anti-social behaviour.

Mr Lewis and his senior officers wrote: “As an organisation we’ve identified that our performance is not good enough and this means we’re letting people down, putting people at risk and failing those who need our help the most.

“We want to be honest with you about the scale of change necessary and demonstrate to you what we’re already doing to make improvements.

“We are making a pledge to you that we will make the decisive improvements necessary to become a truly public service focused organisation with prevention at its heart.”

Mr Lewis backed up the letter with a video pledge, shared on Cleveland Police’s social media channels, that the public will get the service they deserve.



From Belfast Telegraph