ITV Tyne Tees exclusive report on tackling drug crime on Teesside is raised in Parliament

Rachel Bullock's investigation has been raised in the House of Commons. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A Teesside MP has raised in Parliament issues that ITV Tyne Tees exclusively uncovered in a report broadcast last week.

On Tuesday 2 May, ITV Tyne Tees reported that young people involved in the drug trade are being “branded” by gangs as a sign of ownership amid rising levels of brutality.

Our Correspondent Rachel Bullock filmed with Cleveland Police as part of a wider investigation on a proactive policing team using a new style of "Matrix" policing designed to intercept and prevent persistent criminals from striking again.

The report was filmed over three days with Cleveland Police, revealing the scale of the crime they are tackling and the lengths criminals are now going to. In some areas, drug dealers are becoming increasingly brazen. Police said drug leaders spray numbers on walls in areas to advertise which house they are selling from.

A week on, Alex Cunningham MP for Stockton North, said: "Tyne Tees Television have run a series of features on these terrible failures by the Government and the effect on our communities on Teesside. Yet Home Office ministers continue to refuse to speak to reporter Rachel Bullock, who wants to give them a chance to respond to her report. Can you please advise me how I can encourage ministers to engage with the regional media, and if there are any plans by any of them, to come to this house so these members can hold them to account?"

Ministers now have the chance to respond to our investigation and the point of order made in Parliament.

ITV Tyne Tees approached the Home Office for comment regarding the number of police officers at Cleveland Police. The reply confirmed the Government had met its pledge to put an additional 20,000 police officers on the streets across the UK and that Cleveland Police specifically, had received an additional £7 million funding this year.

Despite that, the number of Cleveland Police officers is lower now than in 2010.

Watch Rachel Bullock's exclusive report here:

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