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Commissioner acts to secure future of Chief Constable

CC Lee Freeman May 2019

Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter has extended the contract of Chief Constable Lee Freeman for a further two years to June 2024. This follows the recent HM Inspectorate report where the force was rated ‘Good’ across all areas of inspection for the first time in its history. Mr Freeman also recently completed a successful three-month secondment as interim Chief Constable at Cleveland Police on the recommendation of the College of Policing.

Keith Hunter said: “When I appointed Lee Freeman as Chief Constable in 2017 I set him a challenging goal to turn around the performance of the Force, which for many years had been seen as failing, and raise the morale of his officers and staff which was at a considerably low point. 

“On behalf of the public in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, my role is to hold the Chief Constable to account for performance, and I have been delighted with the substantial progress made under Lee’s leadership. The recent HMICFRS Assessment also clearly shows the achievements made and that there is potential to improve even further due to the changes instituted by Lee and his team. This turnaround has led to significant local and national attention, with HMICFRS senior staff seeking an understanding of the approach taken. Other forces seeking to improve are now being signposted to Humberside by the Inspectorate.

“This also led to the College of Policing recommending Lee to bring stability to Cleveland Police during a difficult period for that force and he also excelled in that role. When I announced his secondment to Cleveland there were concerns from many that Lee would not be with Humberside Police for much longer and would be headhunted to run a larger force.

“It is my belief that losing Lee Freeman in the foreseeable future would be damaging to the Force in a number of respects; morale of staff would suffer and public confidence would be adversely affected, therefore I have moved to secure his long term future by extending his contract by two years to June 2024. Although this does not guarantee Lee will remain with the Force for the full period of his current contract and the extension, it substantially reduces the likelihood of him feeling that to secure his personal circumstances he has to look at opportunities elsewhere regardless of where he may prefer to work.

“I believe this will receive strong local support from both the public and within the Force. It will also illustrate more widely that the Humberside area is one that can attract, develop and retain the best professionals.”

CC Lee Freeman said: “I am delighted to agree a contract extension as Chief Constable and look forward to ensuring the recent improvements that my staff and officers have recently delivered continues.”

Posted on Thursday 30th May 2019