On hearing the decision of Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger not to re seek election in the May 2020, local politicians have commented. Conservative Tees Valley Mayor said,
“This is long overdue. It’s just so sad that it had to get this bad before action was taken. This decision is clearly the right one for the force and the people of Teesside and will provide the clean break that is so desperately needed if our police force is to improve.
“l’m surprised, however, that Barry hasn’t resigned and will continue to draw his £70,000 salary, which as far as the people of Teesside are concerned is a reward for failure.
“With Barry Coppinger standing down we now have the opportunity to start to rebuild our police force. I’m just concerned that the rot is so bad it may be too late.”
In reply local Labour leader Councillor Carl Quartermain said,
“I’m sorry to hear that Barry is not going to continue in the role beyond May 2020 but can completely appreciate the reasons. Barry has always been supportive of the issues I have sent to him and he has always worked with me to address them. I am grateful for his service, commitment and continued support and wish him all the best for the future.
“Barry inherited a role in what was an already damaged police service. He did what he could to repair the reputation and public perception created years before but the force was continually being stripped by the Tories, of the resources and funding needed to function safely, let alone rebuild, throughout his tenure. Numerous senior personnel changes have created an unstable environment to work in and I feel for those officers who work so hard and carry out their duty with pride.
“It’s typical for the Tees Valley Tory Mayor Ben Houchen and his sidekick to be disingenuous while taking no responsibility over how his government have strategically and systematically undermined the force for years in this way.“