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The force says...

Cleveland Police is a geographically small force with a mix of densely populated areas with high levels of deprivation and some more affluent or rural areas. Several of the wards within its boundaries are among the most deprived in the country. The force covers the four unitary authority areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland.

In 2014/15 Cleveland Police dealt with 225,293 calls for service. On a typical day we record 110 crimes and deal with 121 reports of anti-social behaviour. We also arrest 59 people, stop and search 37 people and assist 12 people with mental health issues.

The force has seen significant reductions in crime over several years, but has recently experienced an increase in some crime types such as violence and sexual offences. These increases reflect national trends, and the improvements the force has made to its crime recording processes.

Funding for policing in Cleveland has reduced by £22m in cash terms since 2010. This has meant a reduction of over 400 police officers (25%), and over 120 police staff including PCSOs (26%).

In 2010 the force entered a ground breaking outsourcing agreement with Steria UK (now Sopra Steria) to deliver the majority of the force’s back office functions. The force also has an outsourcing arrangement with Tascor for the delivery of custody services and the management of some of its police stations.

The force has established a robust and sophisticated approach to understanding the threat and risk to our communities and has used this to define the methods for delivering local policing and to inform the allocation of resources.

Cleveland Police is committed to expanding collaborative opportunities. The force is already engaged in two significant collaborative ventures: North East Regional Special Operations Unit and Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit. Work continues in developing collaboration proposals with North Yorkshire Police, Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Cleveland Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

Cleveland Police provides policing services to the areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland. The police force area covers 230 square miles with approximately 41 miles of coastline in the north east of England. Although there are some areas of affluence, Cleveland has a large amount of poverty. Around 0.6 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the towns of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. The resident population is increased by university students and the large numbers who visit or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure includes sea ports.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 1,228 OAs in Cleveland with an average size of 32 hectares which is smaller than the national average of 87 hectares. While the vast majority (73 percent) of OAs in Cleveland are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a much smaller proportion (four percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) reflecting the largely urban localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees with the largest in the more sparsely populated rural areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Cleveland has a median house price of £115,652 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£254,549). Excluding the least expensive ten percent and the most expensive ten percent of house prices, there is a 93 percent difference between low and high prices within the force area, suggesting some areas of affluence as well as poverty.

The predicted number of incidents for each OA varies considerably. In Cleveland, one percent of the OAs accounts for 18 percent of the predicted demands for police services – this is 7.3 percent of the total force area.
A concentration of predicted demands in a small number of OAs is a feature of every police force. We have designated these OAs (approximately 1,800 throughout England and Wales) as a very high challenge to police. These areas of very high challenge are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.

Within Cleveland:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is higher than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is higher than the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance is higher than the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Cleveland we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 1,828 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Cleveland has 14.3 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of seven miles (longest 21 miles and shortest one mile) and the average travel time of 15 minutes are lower than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size of Cleveland and the nature of its roads.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Cleveland is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the roads are. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed – for example, where police officers are based and their working patterns.