STOCKTON councillor Matthew Vickers has been chosen to stand as Police and Crime Commissioner in Cleveland in elections next year.

He was selected at a meeting of party members from across the Cleveland force area earlier this week.

If elected as the area’s PCC in May, he said he hoped to create a police force where victims were put first, money spent wisely and more officer time is spent out policing.

It is believed Mr Vickers will take on incumbent Labour PCC Barry Coppinger, who is understood to be standing again but has not yet been confirmed.

Mr Vickers said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Cleveland’s PCC election next year and I am looking forward to the campaign.

"I think people in Cleveland are ready for a change. The force has been criticised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) for the way it handles money.

"Last year, the commissioner spent more than £780,000 on his office. I want to see less spent on bureaucrats and more spent on bobbies on the beat helping to keep hardworking people and their families safe and secure across Cleveland."