THERE will be some relief among residents in the Cleveland Police area that the force has been adjudged to be making progress.

The force received the worst ever inspection report in 2019, and local people will have to have extremely long memories to recall a time when it was not in the headlines for the wrong reasons. It is nearly 25 years since Operation Lancet was launched into alleged corruption within the force.

In that time, Cleveland has seen several false dawns, including the reign of Chief Constable Sean Price which, after so much initial hope, ended in 2012 when he was dismissed for gross misconduct in 2012.

Residents need to be able to put their faith in their local force and, despite hard work by many officers, that has not always been possible in Cleveland.

If a force is in the headlines for the wrong reasons it damages the reputation of an area, and so there have been influential voices calling for Cleveland to be scrapped and amalgamated into its neighbours.

That would be a very difficult step and so, while there are still outstanding issues, it is to be hoped that Cleveland has turned the corner and that it can win back the complete trust of its community.