Cleveland Police 'cannot afford body cams and laptops'

Cleveland Police headquarters, Middlesbrough Image copyright PA
Image caption Cleveland's working practices have been described as "inefficient"

Cleveland Police officers share body cameras and laptops because the force cannot afford one for each officer on shift, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has said.

Work practices at Cleveland were "about as inefficient as you can possibly imagine", Sir Thomas Winsor revealed.

He admitted he was "startled" by the situation.

The force had pledged to make "decisive improvements".

Sir Thomas said some officers still use pen and paper to make notes before "queuing up" to "take turns to key in" the information to force laptops at the end of their shifts.

Estimating a one-off cost of approximately £300,000 to buy equipment, he added: "It's really extraordinary why they didn't do that."

However, he added: "They are taking all that seriously under new leadership."

Sir Thomas used Cleveland's plight as an example while discussing his report into the state of policing, in which he recommends reforms to make forces more effective and efficient and calls for more investment in technology.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Cleveland must improve its performance, chief constable Richard Lewis says

Cleveland's chief constable Richard Lewis, who has held the role since April, said: "As an organisation we've identified that our performance is not good enough.

"We're being honest with our communities about the scale of change necessary. This is a big piece of work and we do not underestimate the challenges ahead of us.

"We must also be clear that, based on what we have seen, this is not simply about a lack of resources. It's about how these resources are being used."

The force covers areas including Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton and Middlesbrough.

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