Cleveland Police close to appointing new chief constable

Richard Lewis Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Richard Lewis joined Dyfed-Powys Police as a PC in 2000

The current deputy chief constable of Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales has been named as the likely new head of the Cleveland force.

Richard Lewis is expected to take over from Mike Veale, who resigned in January after less than a year in post.

Barry Coppinger, Cleveland's police and crime commissioner, named Mr Lewis as his preferred candidate.

The PCC described Welsh-speaking Mr Lewis as a "dedicated and inspirational leader".

If confirmed, Mr Lewis would be the force's fifth chief constable in six years.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mike Veale joined Cleveland Police as chief constable in March 2018

Humberside Police Chief Constable Lee Freeman has been in temporary charge of the force since Mr Veale's departure.

Mr Coppinger said a record seven applications were received for the top job.

He added: "It was my priority to give the workforce of Cleveland Police an active role in the selection process for the chief constable and I visited the four local policing areas to hear directly from officers and staff about what they wanted from their next leader.

"Before any appointment can legally be made it requires the confirmation of the Police and Crime Panel. They meet on 9 April.

"During the recruitment process Richard proved to be a dedicated and inspirational leader with a clear plan for driving the force forward on its journey of transformation and improvement."

Mr Lewis, from Carmarthenshire, joined the Dyfed-Powys force as a police constable in 2000.

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