April 28, 2023 9.27 am This story is over 14 months old

Humberside Police chief constable to leave force

Chief Constable Lee Freeman KPM today announced that he will be leaving Humberside Police this summer, having been appointed as His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, announced formally by the Home Office.

His announcement marks an end to a six-year tenure in charge of Humberside Police, which has seen the force transform from being in ‘special measures’ to being graded Outstanding and assessed as the highest performing force in the country.

On the appointment, Mr Freeman said: “Of course I am delighted to receive this public appointment. However, making the decision to leave has been incredibly difficult. Humberside is my home force, and one that I have always felt privileged to have been able to lead over the last six years.

“I leave an outstanding force, with strong leadership throughout the organisation, an outstanding workforce, 750 more police officers swelling our ranks than what I inherited, and a strong financial base from which colleagues can ensure that the force continues to improve even further.

He added: “When I started as the Chief Constable in May 2017, the force was in ‘special measures’ and remained so until 2018.  At the time, I recall publicly saying that our local communities had a right to be policed by one of the best performing forces in the country. With the unfailing support of every member of staff, this was achieved in November 2022. These improvements must continue.

“However, even with the awards and accolades that the force has received in the last few years, I have also been clear that every victim and member of the public that contacts us for help needs to also feel that shift. So, despite Humberside’s transformation, we know we still have more work to do as well. However, I am confident that the team I leave behind will continue to listen to our communities and ensure that the force goes from strength to strength.”

During Mr Freeman’s leadership, the force has been on a transformational journey; from a force under ‘special measures’ to one graded as Outstanding by HMICFRS.  In that time, Humberside Police has also increased the number of police officers by over 750, enabling the Chief to reopen 24-hour stations across the whole of East Riding, Hull, North and North East Lincolnshire.

Earlier this year, the force became the top force for call handling performance, achieved the highest positive outcome rates for victims and was nationally recognised for how it has transformed both the culture and service delivery by winning the prestigious Police Force of the Year Award at the IESE Public Sector Transformation Awards consecutively in 2022 and 2023.

On the news, Jonathan Evison, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Chief Constable Freeman has been an exemplary and transformational leader of Humberside Police for the past six years and has seen the force achieve the best independent inspection grades of any force in the country.

“I know he will apply his leadership and experience to his new role with HMICFRS with great success, making a further contribution to policing on a national level. His leadership is no doubt a loss to the force, but I will be embarking on a recruitment campaign imminently to find our next Chief Constable, someone who is able to continue the work of Chief Constable Freeman and take the force even further to ensure the communities of East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire continue to see and feel improved performance.

“I personally thank Chief Constable Freeman for his service to Humberside Police and our communities and wish him all the best in his new role”.

Mr Freeman has worked as a police officer for 30 years, starting his career at City of London Police in 1993, before moving to Lincolnshire Police. In 2015, he joined Humberside Police, as Assistant Chief Constable, before becoming Chief Constable in 2017.

In the 2022 New Year’s Honours, Mr Freeman was awarded the Kings Police Medal in recognition of his contribution to policing.

Mr Freeman stated, “It has been an absolute privilege and honour to be the Chief Constable of Humberside Police, serving the area where I grew up and identify so closely with.”

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