I UNDERSTAND that the Labour candidate for the Police Crime and Victim Commissioner post in Cleveland has pledged to re-open the cells at Hartlepool for custody cases if elected.

How much this will cost? Where will the money come from? Does it make much sense now the Hartlepool Magistrates Court is closed? Aren’t those destined for court who are in custody going to have to be transported from Hartlepool to Teesside Magistrates Court anyway?

Fundamentally, there are just too few front-line police in the Cleveland Constabulary area.

The constabulary has always had half the number of officers the area needed right from the start. The quickest easiest and cheapest way to find more money for front line police in this country is to merge constabularies and abolish many chief constables’ posts, many deputy chief constables’ posts, and many commissioners in the process.

Then we will find the money for more bobbies on the beat.

If candidates campaigned for the merger of police forces, I would be more inclined to listen to them.

Cllr Nigel Boddy (LibDem), former Hartlepool Parliamentary candidate, Darlington.