Northumbria Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear (including Newcastle upon Tyne) and the ceremonial county of Northumberland in North East England.
|Motto||Proud to protect|
|Legal personality||Police force|
|Operations jurisdiction||Tyne and Wear & Northumberland|
|Map of Northumbria Police's jurisdiction.|
|Legal jurisdiction||Tyne and Wear and Northumberland|
|Headquarters||Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, NE28 9NT|
|Sworn members||4,215 (including 191 Special constables) |
|Unsworn members||1,722 (1,514 police staff and 208 PCSOs)|
|Police and Crime Commissioner responsible|
Northumbria Police is the sixth largest police force in England and Wales with 3,486 police officers, 245 special constables, 200 police community support officers and 1,505 police staff (as of 2013). The force headquarters are located at Middle Engine lane in Wallsend, North Tyneside. However, significant numbers of functions have been dispersed to various locations throughout the force area as part of plans to reduce costs, with the stated intention of operating without a traditional headquarters function. As of February 2018, the acting Chief Constable is Winton Keenen, whose appointment became effective on October 2017. Former chief constables include Sir Stanley Bailey (1975–1991); John Stevens, Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington (1991–1996); Crispian Strachan CBE (1998–2005), Mike Craik (2005–2010), Sue Sim (2010–2015, including a period as temporary chief constable) and Steve Ashman (2015–2017).
The force was formed in 1974 and was a merger of the old Northumberland Constabulary along with part of the Durham Constabulary. The police forces for the county boroughs of South Shields, Gateshead, Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne and Tynemouth had already been amalgamated into their respective county forces in 1969, with the Berwick-upon-Tweed police having been merged into Northumberland County Constabulary in 1921.
Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, Northumbria was to merge with Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary to form a single strategic police force for North East England. Both Northumbria and Durham favoured this proposal, while Cleveland expressed a wish that it be merged with the southern area of the Durham force. All proposals regarding force mergers were subsequently dropped nationwide.
In July 2010, Raoul Moat targeted Northumbria Police officers after his release from Durham Prison. A manhunt was started by Northumbria Police with assistance from Durham Constabulary, Cleveland Police, Cumbria Police, West Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Police, and Humberside Police. As the situation developed over a period of days, more support was made available with the Metropolitan Police sending 40 firearms officers, most specialised in the use of sniper rifles. Also, the Police Service of Northern Ireland sent 20 armoured Mitsubishi Shoguns to help in the search on rough terrain in Northumberland.
In January 2014 Northumbria Police launched Operation Sanctuary to investigate sexual abuse gangs targeting vulnerable young white girls. In June 2014 the operation had identified 80 victims and the number of arrests had reached 104.
In April 2014, Northumbria Police came under controversy when they sent officers to investigate children building a den out of sticks in the woods.
In May 2016, details emerged of an affair between former Chief Constable Mike Craik and then Assistant Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock. Peacock's husband — also then a serving police officer — found out about the affair at a barbecue, and attacked Craik. Officers from Northumbria Police were called to the incident, which was later removed from all police logs on order of the Chief Constable, and legally banned from reporting in the courts. The legal bans were lifted, after the former Head of Legal sued the force for unfair dismissal.
Chief Officer teamEdit
As of July 2019, the Chief Officer team consists of the following:
- Chief Constable – Winton Keenen
- Deputy Chief Constable – Debbie Ford
- Assistant Chief Constable – Rachel Bacon
- Assistant Chief Constable – Helen McMillan
- Assistant Chief Constable (temporary) – David Felton
Northumbria Police is divided into three Area Commands. The number of police stations is in the process of being rationalised as part of significant ongoing budget reductions.
|Identifier||Area Command||Area Command HQ||Area|
|HH||Northern||Middle Engine Lane Police Station, Wallsend||covering the local authority areas of Northumberland and North Tyneside|
|II||Central||Etal Lane Police Station, Newcastle upon Tyne||covering the local authority areas of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead|
|JJ||Southern||South Shields Police Station||covering the local authority areas of Sunderland and South Tyneside|
Northumbria Police has numerous teams dedicated to neighbourhood policing attached to the area commands as the table below outlines. A number of these teams are now based within community hubs rather than traditional police stations.
|Identifier||Area Command||Neighbourhood Policing Teams|
|HH||Northern||Bedlington; Blyth; Cramlington; Ashington; Morpeth; Alnwick; Berwick; West Tynedale; East Tynedale; North Shields; Whitley Bay; Killingworth; Wallsend|
|II||Central||Newcastle North West; Newcastle North; Newcastle West; Newcastle City; Newcastle East; Newcastle East Riverside; Central Gateshead; East Gateshead; South Gateshead; Inner West Gateshead; Metro Centre Gateshead; Outer West Gateshead|
|JJ||Southern||Houghton; Sunderland Central; Sunderland East; Sunderland North; Sunderland South; Sunderland West; Washington; East Shields, Cleadon and Whitburn; Jarrow and Hebburn; West Shields and Riverside|
Northumbria Police has faced budget cuts of 23% since 2010, higher than any other police force in England and Wales. Former Chief constable, Steve Ashman expressed fears Northumbria police could soon be unable to provide an adequate service. Ashman said, "If the day of not being able to provide a professional service was here, I would say. It is not here, but it is getting very, very close." Northumbria police received £259.6 million for the year 2017–18 which is up slightly from £259.5 in 2016–17. This small rise is insufficient to compensate for inflation currently at just under 3% per year. Northumbria police experienced a funding cut in real terms. Most Northumbrian police stations now close at 8.00pm and people needing the police after that time must use the telephone or an interactive service.
There are two inter-operable communication centres:
- Northern Communication Centre (NCC) which deals with all stations and commands North of the Tyne, based at Ponteland, Northumberland.
- Southern Communication Centre (SCC) which deals with all stations and commands South of the Tyne, based at South Shields police station.
- 1943–1946 : Sir Joseph Simpson (knighted KBE in the 1959 New Year Honours)
- 1969–?1975 : Clarence Harrington Cooksley
- 1975–1991 : Sir Stanley Ernest Bailey
- 1991–1996 : John Stevens
- 1998–2005 : Crispian Strachan
- 2005–2010 : Mike Craik
- 2010–2015 : Sue Sim
- 2015–2017 : Stephen Ashman
- 2017– : Winton Keenen
Officers killed in the line of dutyEdit
The Police Roll of Honour Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed on and in the line of duty.
Since 1900, the following officers of Northumbria Police and its predecessors are listed by the Trust as having been killed while attempting to prevent, stop or solve a criminal act:
- PC George Bertram Mussell KPM, 1913 (shot)
- Sgt Andrew Barton, 1913 (shot)
- PC George William Wheatley, 1957 (fell from roof while searching for a suspect)
- PC Brian Armstrong, 1966 (stabbed)
- PC Daniel Buckley, 1982 (fell through roof while pursuing a burglar)
- PC Keith Blakelock, 1985 (killed during the Broadwater Farm riots while attempting to protect a fire crew)
- PC Bernard Leslie Bull, 1991 (collapsed and died during an arrest)
- Sgt William Forth, 1993 (stabbed)
- PC Joseph Geoffrey Carroll, 2006 (the prisoner he was transporting caused the vehicle to crash, fatally injuring the officer)
On November 6, 2017, Constable John Davidson of the Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, was shot and killed while trying to arrest a suspect who had allegedly opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping centre. Davidson had served with the Northumbria Police from 1993 to 2005 before emigrating to join the Abbotsford Police.
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