Cleveland Police: Search for Chief Constable continues

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"Alternative options" are now being considered to fill the role of Chief Constable

The search is continuing to find the next Cleveland Police Chief Constable after the first recruitment process failed to find a suitable candidate.

The troubled force is looking for its seventh chief in less than a decade with the current holder Richard Lewis due to leave after two years.

After two days of interviews, police and crime commissioner Steve Turner said there were no suitable candidates.

He said "alternative options" will now be considered to fill the role.

The recruitment process was started in August after Mr Lewis announced he was leaving to become Chief Constable of his former force, Dyfed-Powys Police.

He is expected to leave Teesside later this year, and interim arrangements for his departure are now being drawn up.

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Mr Turner said it was "unanimously agreed" that none of the candidates interviewed were suitable for the role

Mr Turner said: "Cleveland is not an easy place to police, and therefore we need an exceptional Chief Constable who has the extensive skills and experience to handle the significant challenges the force faces.

"We held a rigorous process, with two days of interviews and a total of 26 people sitting over three different panels."

After the two-day assessment process in front of appointment panels it was "unanimously agreed" that none of the candidates were suitable for the position.

The recruitment panels were made up of police officers and staff, regional partners and six leaders , including the managing director of Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland's chief fire officer and Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe, a former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Turner said: "This is a setback I would prefer we didn't face, however we will now set about considering alternative options to fill the role of Chief Constable".

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

Last week, Mr Turner said he would not stand down while being investigated over a historical sexual assault claim.

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