The majority of our police officers and staff are honest, professional and dedicated to serving the public. But only a few months ago, Cleveland was labelled “Britain’s most scandal-hit force” and when we look at the headlines of just the last few years, right up to only a few weeks ago, it’s clear to anyone that there are real problems.
There is no denying that a minority do not abide by the Oath every police officer takes and that is the root cause of the problems in Cleveland Police. It all stems from failure by the leadership to enforce the standards expected of every police officer.
We already have everything we need to ensure high standards – the law and the Police Code of Ethics. All we need is leadership with the will to enforce both, fairly but firmly, regardless of rank. Only will we have real trust and confidence in Cleveland Police. This is no “witch hunt.” It is exactly why the Code of Ethics exists.
⦁ I will have direct oversight of the Professional Standards Department [PSD]
⦁ There will be a complete overhaul of PSD and its systems, utilizing all available resources including HMIC and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, to make PSD completely accountable
⦁ No more: COVER UP – BURY IT UNDER THE CARPET or IGNORE IT
⦁ Whistleblowers will be encouraged and protected
⦁ Every complaint will be recorded and dealt with – no more DISAPPLICATION
⦁ We must acknowledge that, at times, we make mistakes and when we do we must face them, learn from them, apologise if necessary and make amends.
We must apply common sense instead of being defensive and confrontational every time there is criticism. If it’s a simple mistake then it will be dealt with as such. If its more serious, then the Code of Ethics will be, robustly, enforced without exception. This is how we will begin to restore public trust and confidence in Cleveland Police. It will also save a fortune in legal fees and settlements resulting in even more money for frontline services.