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Hartlepool: Community patrol urged not to take law into their own hands

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Cleveland Police has warned a community in Hartlepool not to take law into their own hands after launching a nightly neighbourhood patrol after a lack of police response to burglary and thefts from vans and cars.

We must continue to support our hardworking police officers and thank them for the difficult job they do.

See: Hartlepool: The town where the police no longer come.

The police simply do not have enough resources and funding to attend and investigate everything anymore.

The PCC warned he will hold the Chief Constable to account but blamed government cuts for the lack of police attending volume crime in Hartlepool.

Barry Coppinger the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Police thanked the hard working police officers of Hartlepool.

Admitting that police officers in Hartlepool are working under increasingly difficult circumstances but this is not just a problem limited to Hartlepool it is across the whole of Cleveland Police “This happens all day and all night across the Force area.”

Something that has prompted Chief Constable Mike Veale to review the structure of the force and looking at areas of demand and where the force can save money.

With the closure of Hartlepool Police custody you’d believe Hartlepool was a crime free zone, but it’s not the police have simply stopped policing the crimes that matter to the public such as theft from shed’s, theft from cars and even shoplifting.

They simply do not have the money to respond and dedicate time to everything policing is in a state and it’s not just limited to Hartlepool or Cleveland this is just a snapshot of over stretched police forces across Britain.

Sadly it won’t get any better the Cleveland PCC tells the public that they should continue reporting crime but from a large number of people’s experiences in Hartlepool officers won’t even attend even if there is potential evidence and CCTV footage.

However he warned communities “not take the law into their own hands.” And to continue reporting crime to the police.

If you’d like to assist the police he added the force is currently recruiting Special Constables.

Adding “All public services are bearing the brunt of austerity and sadly this has also increased pressure on policing. As the Integrated team at Hartlepool shows, we have responded by working ever more closely with our partners – but as last night’s coverage illustrates, policing is often the service of first and last resort.

“I will keep engaging regularly with the community in Hartlepool and have supported various local projects such as youth diversion work at Belle Vue, which will be further developed as a result of successfully bidding for funding, work at Rift House, work with the Youth Offending Service, and projects such as crime prevention in vulnerable locations and Hartlepool Coastal Surveillance Centre through my Community Safety Initiative Fund.

“While the BBC report may be a shock for many residents, it highlights the pressures on policing in Cleveland following eight years of austerity.

“Central government funding to Cleveland Police has been cut by £39m (36%) in real terms over the past seven years, resulting in the loss of over 500 Police Officers and 50 Police Community Support Officers.

“It was only by increasing the local police precept by £12 this year that we were able to prevent a further 60 job losses.

“The government must sit up and listen to what we are telling them about the crippling impact of their cuts on policing in Cleveland.

“I have personally written to the Government and invited the Home Secretary to Cleveland to see first-hand the reality of police funding cuts. I hope that he will do so.

“I urge anyone with any political influence, from all parties or none, to join me in my campaign for fairer funding for policing in Cleveland.”

Admittedly here at Police Hour we understand that this is a challenge that is not limited to Cleveland Police, but one that Cleveland Police alone cannot fix.

We must continue to support our hardworking police officers and thank them for the difficult job they do.

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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