A CHANGE at the Home Office as part of the ongoing Government shake-up has seen some of the region's politicians and police commissioners calling for improved investment in the region.

New Home Secretary Priti Patel, pictured below, has been challenged to fulfil Boris Johnson's pledge to deliver more police officers for forces which have faced years of 'cuts'.

The Northern Echo:

Stockton South MP Dr Paul Williams has written to the minister in a bid to boost police numbers in the Cleveland Police area.

He wrote: “I’m asking the new Home Secretary to meet with me as soon as possible because I’ve got story after story from my constituents about what these Tory cuts have meant for people living in our area. People tell me that it’s like criminals are able to act without fear and it feels like this is because our hardworking local police simply doesn’t have the resources they need to properly take on criminals.”

The Northern Echo:

And his plea was echoed by Durham's Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg, pictured above, who remains sceptical about the new Prime Minister's pledge to fund 20,000 new police officers.

He said: “We need Ministers to provide more detail about this. If the Government is going to replace Officers which the force lost as a result of austerity, then that is clearly something to be welcomed.

"I will be arguing to ensure that forces such as Durham receive a fair share of the new allocation, as soon as possible.

"However, it’s crucially important that the funding for these new officers comes direct from the Government rather than Police and Crime Commissioners being given permission to raise the Council Tax precept.

"I have been put in a position in the past two years where I have had to ask the people of County Durham to pay the maximum increase just to maintain Officer numbers, and I don’t want to have to ask them for a greater increase this year.”

The Northern Echo:

And Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, pictured above, is calling for the 1,000 officers the force has lost to be replaced.

She said: “The ball is firmly in the new Prime Minister’s court. He needs to get serious about backing our police. Residents across the force area have made clear they want to see crime come down. The PM must show he is prepared to stand by them and our police.”