Chief con­sta­ble says he’s in post for the long haul

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Keane Dun­can

LLANELLI’S Richard Lewis in­sists he is in the north of Eng­land to stay.

Cleve­land Po­lice’s new chief con­sta­ble prom­ises to buck the trend and stick around.

He is the North East of Eng­land force’s fifth chief con­sta­ble in just six years.

Ex-ge­og­ra­phy teacher Mr Lewis joins from Dyfed-Powys Po­lice, re­plac­ing Mike Veale, who re­signed fac­ing mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions af­ter 10 months in the job.

Mr Lewis prom­ises to be here “sig­nif­i­cantly longer” than five years, and pledges to work hard to re­build pub­lic trust.

Could his ap­point­ment fi­nally be the break scan­dal-hit Cleve­land Po­lice needs?

”I bring noth­ing with me from my past,” the 43-year-old said. “I can as­sure lead­er­ship of high in­tegrity.”

He in­sists he is look­ing for­wards rather than back at the force’s decades of prob­lems.

“What I’m go­ing to fo­cus on is not the his­tory of Cleve­land Po­lice but

IFor up­dates, changes, al­ter­ations — email jour­nal. [email protected]­di­awales.co.uk. De­tails must be sub­mit­ted by noon on Thurs­day — a week be­fore pub­li­ca­tion, please mark each email ‘Llanelli churches’ and state the sec­tion .

BAP­TIST: Adu­lam Bethel Green­field the bright fu­ture which I know it has.”

He praised Cleve­land’s “in­cred­i­ble peo­ple” and “in­cred­i­ble com­mu­ni­ties”, liken­ing their sense of hu­mour and com­mu­nity to his home town in Wales.

”There is a temp­ta­tion to jump straight to ac­tion,” said Mr Lewis.

“But the first thing need to do is lis­ten.

“It’s only when we have de­ter­mined what our fu­ture should be that ac­tion should fol­low.”

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But he did hint at greater in­vest­ment in neigh­bour­hood polic­ing, a fo­cus on Teesside’s most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple and a re­turn to “lo­cal bob­bies” on the beat.

The keen so­cial me­dia user also wants to build a vis­i­ble on­line pres­ence, claim­ing the in­ter­net has be­come a “new city” in need of polic­ing.

The chief’s key mes­sage in a 15-minute sit down at the Com­mu­nity Safety Hub in Hem­ling­ton is that Five Roads

Capel Als Re­hoboth,

PRES­BY­TE­RIAN: Capel Newydd

Bethel, Cefn­caeau he is in Cleve­land for the long-term.

His con­tract, set by Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Barry Cop­pinger, is five years long.

But he said that he is in­tend­ing to be in the area, which in­cludes Mid­dles­brough and Hartle­pool, “sig­nif­i­cantly longer”.

He thinks “longevity of lead­er­ship” and “con­ti­nu­ity of vi­sion” will be vi­tal, and said the pub­lic should judge him on his record.

Lewis grew up in LlanCom­mu­nity of Christ (Trostre Road) elli. He started his ca­reer as a ge­og­ra­phy teacher, a role that ig­nited his pas­sion for ser­vice.

“I al­ways wanted to work in the pub­lic ser­vices,” he said. “Teach­ing was a way into that. I had the op­por­tu­nity to work with dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents. But I felt I wanted to do even more to help.”

Self-de­scribed as “work­ing class”, he said his pri­or­ity was aid­ing those who need it most.

He had a mes­sage for crime vic­tims who feel let down: “I want to hear from you. I don’t want any­one to suf­fer in si­lence.

“If you feel you haven’t re­ceived the ser­vice they de­serve from Cleve­land Po­lice, you can con­tact my of­fice.”

Re­build­ing pub­lic faith in Cleve­land Po­lice is go­ing to be a mam­moth job, and Mr Lewis has a big job ahead.

“I would ask that peo­ple judge me in five years’ time that I stayed, in­vested in our area and de­liv­ered,” he added.

“I can only de­liver if I’m here for five years. The proof will be in the pud­ding.”

the Sea, Burry Port, Our Lady Queen of Peace,

Pic­ture: Katie Lunn

Richard Lewis of Llanelli, Cleve­land Po­lice chief con­sta­ble.

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