Durham and Darlington Police is the only force in England and Wales to be rated "outstanding" for its effectiveness at tackling crime.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has reviewed every force and rated 24 of them "good" and 18 "requiring improvement".
But inspectors said they found the Darlington’s force’s prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour tactics to be "innovative". The force was praised for its strong “problem-solving” ethos when it comes to tackling crime, and the importance placed on providing a good service to victims.
This was achieved despite the Government cutting our local force’s funding by more than £20 million, meaning the loss of 300 police officers.
Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said: “I think it is an exceptional achievement for our police force and its Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg. To be singled-out by the inspectors in this way is quite remarkable, particularly when you consider the financial cuts imposed on the force by this Government and the resulting loss of front-line officers.
“Well done, Ron. Everybody in the Labour Party in this area sincerely hope that you are re-elected in May.”
Mr Hogg, who is the Labour candidate in the election for a new PCC on May 5, said: "I think the people of County Durham and Darlington can be confident that they are being served by the best police force in the country."
And Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton said he hoped every employee of the force had "an extra spring in their step". He added: "It is their continued professionalism and dedication which has put the force in a fantastic position for the future."