Hartlepool residents are resorting to patrolling the streets themselves in order to maintain law and order as it has emerged that there is just 1 police officer to every 9,000 people in the coastal town.
Cleveland police force receives less funding than more affluent areas while struggling with high crime in Hartlepool, Redcar, Cleveland, Stockton and Middlesbrough. Over the past eight years, the force has shed 500 officers, leaving it with a uniformed force of 1,257.
Hartlepool mayor Allan Barclay said: ‘Criminals are very happy because they know they can get away with it. Policing is now non-existent for low-level crimes and things like burglaries and shoplifting because the police’s hands are tied by budget cuts.
‘Police have effectively given up on coming out because they just don’t have the resources – victims get a crime number and that’s it.’ Hartlepool’s Labour MP Mike Hill said: ‘Frightened, hard-working taxpayers feel the streets have been abandoned by police. The situation in Hartlepool is typical of most British towns. It is a damning indictment of underfunding up and down the country.’
Just ten officers are on duty overnight in Hartlepool, a coastal town with a population of 92,000, and police cars sit empty because there are not enough officers to fill them.
Paul Timlin, 54, a local gas engineer, captured thieves stealing all of his tools on CCTV, but was forced to solve the crime himself because police failed to turn up. Mr Timlin was unable to work when £1,500 worth of tools were stolen from his van outside his house.
Cleveland Police announced on Monday they were shutting down the town’s custody suite to save money – forcing officers to drive anyone they arrest to Middlesbrough police station 15 miles away.
On a recent Saturday night, all ten police officers were busy dealing with incidents, meaning there was no one left to respond to emergency calls. At one stage, four officers were driving prisoners to Middlesbrough.
Residents fear that they could be the next ‘London’ with spiralling crime and feel they have been abandoned. It is clear that the Government must sit up and listen to what they are be told about the crippling impact of their cuts on policing as the issue is penetrating towns and cities across the country.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)