New Cleveland police chief determined to regain the community's confidence after years of turmoil

The new Chief Constable of Cleveland Police wants to regain the confidence of those the force serves, following years of problems.

Mark Webster is days into leading a police force that has seen an investigation into corruption and was placed in special measures by the police watchdog during the last decade.

He will become the seventh person to hold the role in ten years. 

From 2010 to 2014 Cleveland Police was the subject of Operation Sacristy, a £4m investigation into corruption and fraud, though no formal charges were brought. 

Though now improving, three years ago the force was put into special measures by the police Watchdog. 

Entering the role Chief Constable Webster said "I am not naive to the history of the force but there are half a million people here who deserve a good police service and there are over two thousand members of the force who actually deserve to have pride in their work and a bit of leadership.

Webster says he has spoken to up to 500 staff in his first week in the job. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"I have been deeply impressed with the people I've met in the force. There have been problems of course, and they will continue in any organisation to be problems but what I will do is deal with those with a laser focus to make sure we deliver for the public."

Going forward the new leader of Cleveland Police is encouraging the public to work with the force to help crack down on problems like anti-social behaviour. 

He told ITV Tyne Tees "The police only do anything in cooperation with the public, we act on their behalf so I would encourage anybody to contact the police. We've got a strong neighbourhood policing presence."

"I know in Hemlington in particular there've been dedicated officers out throughout the  day and into the evening. There have been over thirty arrests so far in the last few weeks to address and deal with the problems over there but we need the information. We need to know what's going on."

When setting out his key priorities going forward, the Chief of Cleveland Police said: "We're here to protect the public, to protect communities, to tackle criminals and whilst we're doing that to be the best we can possibly be."