A POLICE officer with 20 years of experience working across the North-East has been appointed as Cleveland's deputy chief constable.

Helen McMillan, who has been serving at assistant chief constable at Northumbria Police, has been appointed deputy to chief constable Richard Lewis.

He said: “Helen is joining Cleveland Police at a time of real change and real improvement and will play a huge role in driving forward the improvements we need to make to support our communities.

“Helen will be a key part of delivering on our vision, set when I became chief constable in 2019, to ‘deliver outstanding policing for our communities’. I am proud of the progress we continue to make at Cleveland Police towards this aim.

“Much remains to be done but I trust that the improvements we continue to make in so many areas has served to increase trust in our processes and plans for improvement.”

The officer joined Durham Police in 1990, after working for the NHS, holding posts in Darlington, Durham and Bishop Auckland.

She joined Northumbria Police in 2017 and in 2018/19 was seconded to Cleveland police as temporary deputy chief constable.

She has worked in training and professional standards departments and is an experienced firearms and public order commander.

She said: “Having worked in policing in the North-East for 30 years and I’m really pleased to be back on Teesside. I know the challenges that Cleveland faces, but also recognise the relentless dedication of officers and staff.”

Current DCC Ian Arundale, who joined Cleveland Police on a temporary basis in 2019 having come out of retirement to support the force, will remain in the organisation and continue with his current standards and ethics and legal services remit.