'Deliver results', 'Return integrity': Cleveland PCC candidates set out why you should vote for them

Ahead of elections next Thursday on May 2, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) asked candidates for the post of Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner to set out their stall in terms of why the public should vote for them.

Only two runners are in the race, Conservative Steve Turner, a former UKIP councillor, who was first elected to the office in 2021 and Labour ’s Matthew Storey, who is on Middlesbrough Council.

PCC’s set out a strategic direction for their police force in a police and crime plan they are required to periodically publish and also set the police precept - the portion of council tax bills that goes towards paying for local policing.

They also hire - and fire - chief constables, while their offices commission services to help victims of crime and fund community-based projects through grants. The LDRS asked both candidates their thoughts on the current policing picture in Cleveland and improvements they'd seek to make.


“Deciding to stand last time was an easy decision. We had the worst force in the country and everything I knew told me that with the right strategy and leadership it could be turned around.

“The force has been transformed since I took over. There’s a new chief constable who’s implemented the strategy in my plan and is delivering on the targets we set. We’ve now got a district command structure, neighbourhood teams with named officers plus Matrix and impact teams who target our most difficult criminals to apprehend.

“We've delivered one of the country’s best 999 call response rates, are in the top three for conviction rates and are the best force for arrests and improvement in burglary response times. All of this and more contributed to Cleveland Police being removed from special measures and it was all overseen through my scrutiny and improvement programme.

Cleveland Police continues to have the highest rate of crime in the country, although it has fallen in some categories
Cleveland Police continues to have the highest rate of crime in the country, although it has fallen in some categories -Credit:Teesside Live

“The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has delivered a mobile phone app to report crime, an award-winning complaints team and we’ve secured millions in grant funding for victims’ services, local authorities and communities.

“Despite those successes I almost didn’t stand again. The toxic nature of politics has taken its toll on me and my family and I’ve spent too much time fighting political attacks and false allegations.

“I won’t be bullied out though as there’s much more I want to do. Looking forward, we’ll continue driving down crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Drugs and violence sit at the heart of that and the violence reduction team I founded will deliver innovative initiatives that will stem the flow of children getting sucked into crime.

“Cleveland will also get its first Youth Zone - a brand new purpose built space where young people can participate in more than 20 different activities - and, working with local councils, we'll ensure kids get the best opportunities to succeed and grow.

“We must also strive to be at the forefront of changing technology, our criminals certainly are. I’ll keep increasing our drone capacity and use them alongside facial recognition to identify those who cause chaos in our communities. It can also be used as part of our fight to drive down retail crime.

“Violence against women and girls must remain a focus and whilst we’ve heavily funded some brilliant partner organisations, it does feel sometimes like it’s not enough.

“I’ll create capacity to challenge unduly lenient sentencing in the crown courts - I’m going to dedicate some resources from within my team to do a weekly review of local sentencing and scope out what could be challenged - and I’m always pushing for more police officers. There’s another 48 this year with more to come.

“My vision for Cleveland’s future can’t be boiled down into a few headline pledges, our problems have run too deep for too long. But I can promise leadership, stability and continuity that will deliver the results we need.”


“After 14 years of the Conservatives in Government, we barely see the police on our streets anymore. Police numbers have been slashed across Cleveland and now Cleveland has the highest crime rate in the country.

“The Conservatives have failed our communities.

“If I have the privilege of being elected Police and Crime Commissioner, I will bring back community policing by giving every single community a named officer who will work closely with local residents and businesses to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour.

“I will redouble the focus on domestic abuse by investing in trained domestic abuse workers to support victims and increase the shockingly low prosecution rates.

Shoplifting is a major issue for many retailers and costs the economy huge sums of money
Shoplifting is a major issue for many retailers and costs the economy huge sums of money -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

“It’s time for a retail crime strategy to crack down on the rampant retail crime hurting our local businesses and putting shop workers all too often in dangerous situations. I have said throughout my campaign that shop workers must be better protected from assault at work and, when they are victims, be rightfully given the chance to see justice done.

“The unacceptable levels of homelessness across our communities is shameful. I will work with partner organisations to develop a homelessness strategy to get rough sleepers off the streets and give them the support they need to build better lives. This is the right thing to do and will help steer people away from anti-social behaviour and crime.

“Finally, I will return integrity to the role. This means I will be a Police and Crime Commissioner you can trust to do the right thing. Frankly, residents deserve far better than the scandals of recent years. I will be open and honest and always uphold the highest standards of conduct in public office.

“On May 2 please vote for change with Labour.”

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