Police and crime commissioner Keith Hunter has launched his re-election campaign with a pledge that Humberside Police will recruit at least another 200 officers.

The force currently has 2,070 officers - the highest number in a decade and just over 500 more then when he was first elected five years ago.

Since taking on the role, he has used his own budget resources together with recent extra government funding to oversee a major recruitment drive.

Setting out his campaign today, Mr Hunter said recruiting another 200 officers over the next five years would be one of his priorities if re-elected, emphasising this would be a minimum target to aim for.

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Police and crime commissioner Keith Hunter and chief constable Lee Freeman
Police and crime commissioner Keith Hunter and chief constable Lee Freeman

He said employing extra officers would allow the force to continue its work with partner organistations to reduce crime and improve peoples' lives.

"I want us to be able to reclaim the streets and public spaces so that when people go out they feel safe," he added.

Mr Hunter will once again be the Labour candidiate in the PCC election on May 6 after last year's scheduled contest was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2016 he defeated incumbent Conservative PCC Matthew Grove.

During his current term in office, he has overseen a change of chief constable when Justine Curran was replaced by Lee Freeman and a turnaround in the force's fortunes with a series of much-improved external inspection reports.

He said: "When I was elected in 2016, Humberside Police was the worst peforming force in the country. It was regarded as the sick man of British policing.

"Over those five years, the force has been completely transformed which only adds to the reputation of the area rather than detracting from it.

"I am standing on my record of delivery and that will continue if I am allowed to build on that success. My campaign is about having the confidence, credibility and character to deliver."

A computer generated picture of the £20million project which has been approved
A computer generated picture of the £20million project which has been approved

Speaking on the current £20m scheme to create a new force control centre at Melton as well as a base for other specialist services, Mr Hunter said his intention was to sell the site of the current control centre in Hessle High Road.

He said a final decsion would be made nearer the time when staff were due to relocate but, at the moment, he was in favour of selling the site.

The new facility in Melton, which is expected to house over 500 staff, is expected to ready next year