Cleveland Police to be placed into 'special measures'

Cleveland Police Credit: PA

Cleveland Police is to be put into special measures following an inspection by the police watchdog.

The force will enter a 'national oversight process' to support it in a programme of improvement.

It comes after Cleveland Police was inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in May 2019.

The force has been dogged by a series of high profile scandals over the last 20 years and has seen numerous changes in its leadership.

Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, has described the announcement as "long overdue".

Cleveland Police is currently at the centre of an IOPC investigation, codenamed Operation Forbes, which is investigating claims of misconduct within the force.

It is specifically looking at cases of discrimination within the force and also how Cleveland unlawfully used anti-terrorism laws to monitor the phones of journalists and former police officers in 2012.

So far, Operation Forbes has lead to nine former or current officers at the force being served gross misconduct notices.

Chief Constable Richard Lewis Credit: ITV News

The current Chief Constable, Richard Lewis, issued a statement in regards to today's developments.