Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Force Sets Focus on Tackling Serious Violence; Operation Phoenix Priorities Are Set Out

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Police Force Sets Focus on Tackling Serious Violence; Operation Phoenix Priorities Are Set Out

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BROWN mike.brown@reachplc.com @MIKEBROWNGAZ

POLICING on Teesside will be overhauled this summer after its new Chief Constable delivered a stinging verdict on its performance.

Richard Lewis admitted last month Cleveland Police was "letting down" Teessiders and pledged to turn things around by making "the decisive improvements necessary".

A new strategy says Cleveland Police will deliver an improved public service, more help for vulnerable people and more officers tackling serious violence.

And the force has now outlined how it plans to prevent crime, protect communities and tackle serious violence during the busy summer months.

It will introduce: | Additional "domestic abuse" cars will be brought into operation on Thursday, staffed by officers working additional hours, to "enhance the response to victims of domestic abuse on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - traditionally peak times for such offences". | Crime Prevention officers have already been placed in town centres to offer advice and support to the public - face to face - every weekday for three months. | More resources will be focused on apprehending suspects wanted for crimes, on prison recalls or bail breaches. | Raids to disrupt organised crime, target criminals and raid homes and businesses connected to crime.

Launching the new strategy - called Operation Phoenix - yesterday, assistant chief constable Steve Graham said: "The summer is traditionally a time of increased demand for the police service, and Operation Phoenix is being put in place to manage that demand directly through increased protection for vulnerable people and a focused approached to tackling serious and organised crime.

"We're doing this in two ways; by changing the way we work and by freeing up resources to support the work of our front line officers and staff. …

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