THE new chief constable of Cleveland Police today (Wednesday February 6) promised more transparency as she outlined plans to take the force forward.
Jacqui Cheer pledged to make public details of any officers who have been dismissed or allowed to resign while facing dismissal, along with details of the charges they face as well as their rank and age.
In a bid to restore the force’s troubled reputation in the wake of the on-going Operation Sacristy, which is looking into allegations of corruption at Cleveland Police and the former Cleveland Police Authority, the chief constable said she would work to create more openness.
Aiming to also release the minutes of meetings and details of decision making and selections, she said: “It sounds easy but this is not necessarily our culture around these things.”
Mrs Cheer said she believed public confidence in Cleveland Police remained extremely high but also said that the force had become “a byword for issues around integrity”, resulting in its reputation suffering “unfairly”.
She said: “People think we choose to turn a blind eye because of the matter of how we deal with internal misconduct. We are not particularly open and never have been about demonstrating how robust we are.”
She stressed that she believed problems within the force had not been a result of policing procedures but had been down to individual behaviour.
She said: “I am not saying there were not issues around integrity. In their professional and personal lives, police officers should have high standards.
"The powers I have on my warrant are incredible and if I want to exercise those powers, I have to be able to show I can behave myself. I do expect officers to work to high standards and that needs to be instilled.”
Mrs Cheer is also encouraging the community to work more successfully with the force by making use of services like Crimestoppers to anonymously report crime.
She also plans to recruit more special constables and PCSOs and is aiming to lift the force’s current recruitment freeze by 2016.
Mrs Cheer was appointed as temporary chief after the previous chief constable, Sean Price, was arrested and suspended as part of Operation Sacristy.
Mr Price was dismissed from the force in October for gross misconduct after an eight-day disciplinary hearing.