A RETIRED police officer who was wrongly sacked and jailed is to stand as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland in the May elections.

Sultan Alam, who received a payout of more than £840,000 from the force in 2012 after an eight-year fight to clear his name, has pledged to be a "strong and committed PCC who will put an end to all the scandals", if he is elected.

It is the second time he has stood as PCC, and will stand as an independent against incumbent Labour PCC Barry Coppinger, and Conservative councillor Matthew Vickers.

Mr Alam, who received commendations for bravery during his police service, as well as the Exemplary Police Service Medal, said: "Cleveland Police appears to be in a worse state now than it was three years ago. Such a failure to address the obvious is unforgiveable."

He pointed out scandals in recent years, including Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy being sacked for misconduct and former police authority chair Dave McLuckie being jailed for perverting the course of justice.

He also mentioned the crimes committed by rapist police officer Wayne Scott, who was jailed in 2012, accusations of racial discrimination, complaints about the force's use of the "snoopers" law to grab phone records to track down a whistleblower, and the false imprisonment of solicitor James Watson.

He added: "These scandals are not the only problem. The recent inspections by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary have found that the force was not good at handling money, protecting vulnerable victims or at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

"These are the very basics of policing and we need Cleveland Police to do better."

He said he would hold the Chief Constable to account and enforce the code of conduct "without exception".

"That may sound basic but it goes to the heart of the negative culture that has been allowed to flourish for far too long. We have to put our own house in order to enable us to provide the best service to the public."

"I will put a stop to time and money being wasted so we can get more police officers out on the street more of the time so we can give the best service to victims and to keeping our communities safe."

Last week Northern Powerhouse Minister and Stockton South MP James Wharton branded the force "rotten" and called on Mr Coppinger arrange an "independent and thorough" investigation of the force.

Temporary Chief Constable Iain Spittal hit back, saying he strongly refuted the "damaging and negative" statement.