IN my letter (HAS, Dec 28), I said it was pointless filling in Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger’s survey on the force’s precept because he was bound to go for the maximum increase allowable.

Sadly, my prophecy has come true and the police precept is to increase by 10.6 per cent: a whopping four times the rate of inflation.

How can this be justified when, not only has Cleveland Police failed miserably to keep crime off our streets, but its reputation has been ruined by crisis after crisis?

Barry is doing his best, but this can never justify throwing council taxpayers’ good money after bad. We are sick of hearing excuses about alleged inadequate government funding. Only a root and branch restructure will suffice.

Cleveland Police should be abolished with the north going into Durham Constabulary and the south into North Yorkshire.

Let’s stop this exorbitant merry-go-round!

Cllr Steve Kay (Ind), Moorsholm, Redcar & Cleveland council

Special agent

ALMOST daily, the woes of Cleveland police are aired in newspapers and on television. I have never seen a small force get so much bad publicity. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.

How do we fix it? Just down the road in Durham we have a superb chief constable in Mike Barton. He is a very unassuming man with very big ideas – ideas that would sort out the Cleveland mess.

I'm sure he only needs to be asked.

Join the forces together, make it people friendly, involve all the staff in its running, and bobby’s your uncle, as they say.

Norman Hughes, Seaham