More about this area

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The force says...

Cleveland is geographically small covering the areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland.  Densely populated with high deprivation levels, several wards are among the most deprived in the country, presenting a significant policing challenge.

The Force serves around 562,000 residents and an increasingly diverse population. Teesside University attracts around 18,500 students from over 100 countries and Middlesbrough has been identified as having the highest rate of asylum seekers within the UK.

Cleveland has a long industrial history with a significant petrochemical industry, a nuclear power station and the busy sea port of Teesport. Cleveland is also home to a Premiership football club.

In recent years crime and antisocial behaviour have fallen. However, Cleveland continues to have an above average rate per 1,000 population, reflecting high levels of social deprivation and high concentration of commercial and licensed premises.

The demand for policing is increasingly complex with noticeable increases in violent crime, domestic abuse and sexual offences. Some of this can be attributed to improvements in crime recording and officer training however, increased public confidence and awareness have also played a part, particularly in relation to historic offences.

Funding has reduced by £24 million since 2010, with 435 fewer police officers (25%) and 102 fewer police staff including PCSOs (22%). This, together with the increasing complexity of local demand continues to shape how we will work differently in the future.

Cleveland Police will continue to make communities safer and help them be stronger. We will do this by delivering effective local policing, working smarter by collaborating with others and ensuring that enabling services support operational policing. This will be supported by our key priorities of; preventing harm rather than responding after the event, intervening to reduce harm where it is not possible to prevent it and protecting communities, especially the most vulnerable.

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, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £112,500 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Cleveland has 39.9 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 2.5 percent of OAs are within the top 10 percent of house prices nationally (and 0.4 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of low value housing and deprivation, with some very small affluent areas of more expensive housing.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales.  Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area.  Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

1.0 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Cleveland. The highest challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 9.3 percent of Cleveland’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 6.3 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Cleveland:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is high compared with 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 broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is very high compared with 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 at crimes is broadly in line with 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 36 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 7 miles (longest 21 miles and shortest 1 mile) and the average travel time of 15 minutes from the centre of the force to each OA 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.