Cleveland PCC takes office and slams Westminster for not doing more to promote role

Darlington and Stockton Times: ON STREETS: On patrol with the neighbourhood policing team in High Street, Stockton. From left, Police Community Support Officer Tamara Connor, PC Avril Dimelow, Barry Coppinger and district commander Alastair Simpson ON STREETS: On patrol with the neighbourhood policing team in High Street, Stockton. From left, Police Community Support Officer Tamara Connor, PC Avril Dimelow, Barry Coppinger and district commander Alastair Simpson

AS he officially took office today (Thursday, November 22), Cleveland’s new Police and Crime Commissioner slammed Westminster for not doing enough to promote the role ahead of elections.

Labour’s Barry Coppinger, who had criticised the implementation of the role prior to running for it, blamed the 15 per cent turn out for the elections – one of the lowest in living memory – on a lack of public understanding.

During a meeting at Stockton Police Office where he met high ranking members of Cleveland Police force before taking to the streets to patrol with officers, Mr Coppinger said: “The concept was a controversial one when first raised… I think it was not really promoted well and the public were not really convinced by it. That is down to Westminster and Whitehall who should have done more work to sell it to the public."

He added: “We are here now and I will be working to raise the profile of the role and make it succeed.”

Mr Coppinger also discussed restoring the reputation of Cleveland Police, currently tarnished by corruption allegations relating to Operation Sacristy.

He said: “Public confidence in Cleveland Police force is still high and it ranks as one of the top three forces in the country for that but there is potential to do a lot more work in promoting a positive image of policing and community safety and that is going to form a major part of my role.”

Mr Coppinger has already brought about changes to Cleveland Police’s structure by replacing chief executive Stuart Pudney with the secondment of Ed Chicken, Middlesbrough Council’s head of community safety.

When asked about the decision, he said: “Cleveland Police Authority has ceased to exist. The PCC role is much broader and there is a different set of responsibilities.

"What I have done is brought a secondee in who has a broad range of skills which will help me set up appropriate support mechanisms.”

Comments (2)

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7:29pm Thu 22 Nov 12

AZZIZZ says...

Typical, it seems anything and everything that is wrong in Mbro, has nothing at all to do with the current encumbents..... always someone else to blame.

I thought the chief constable was sacked for doing a similar thing by favouring his best friends.
All local authority jobs are supposed to be advertised, so how come the commissioner can hand pick his own staff before he was elected.
He should be reported to the local government minister and suspended.
Typical, it seems anything and everything that is wrong in Mbro, has nothing at all to do with the current encumbents..... always someone else to blame. I thought the chief constable was sacked for doing a similar thing by favouring his best friends. All local authority jobs are supposed to be advertised, so how come the commissioner can hand pick his own staff before he was elected. He should be reported to the local government minister and suspended. AZZIZZ
  • Score: 1

7:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

stevegg says...

Yes, get the boot in ..... now you have been elected and are safe for 5 years!
Yes, get the boot in ..... now you have been elected and are safe for 5 years! stevegg
  • Score: 0

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