Christmas Message from Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This year has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone as we have had to deal with COVID.  I would like to thank our communities across the county who have worked with the police by following the rules and working together.


“It is important that we all take a moment this festive season to remember those who have lost their lives or been very ill and are still ill due to COVID-19 and remember the families of those bereaved.


“I want to give my thanks to all emergency service workers in Cumbria, every day, including for many, Christmas when we’re at home with our families.  They put their lives and health selflessly on the line to keep the public safe.  We are very fortunate to have such highly professional and dedicated Emergency Services and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.


“I would particularly like to thank all the Police Officers, PCSOs, police staff and our many volunteers for all their hard work over the last year to keep us safe and consistently deliver a professional and dedicated police force.


“For almost two years, they have faced a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and have had to learn how to police this as they go, and I am sincerely grateful to every member of staff for their efforts.


“Around this time of year, we start to put details down around our budget for the following year.


“As ever, finances remain challenging, but in the last year we have achieved so much.


“We have recruited all of our Operation Uplift officers from phase one and two and while they obviously need time for training, we are already seeing new deployments right across the county.


“We have been able to place dedicated Police officers back into our more rural communities: Brampton, Longtown, Alston, Wigton, Appleby, Kirby Stephen, Shap, Dalton, Millom, Windermere, Ambleside and Ulverston.


“Community Beat Officers have been established in Workington and Maryport with plans for more locations to supplement the existing neighbourhood Policing teams.


“In 2021, I have been able to distribute money across the county to improve the safety of our communities from my Property Fund, which sees the money confiscated from criminals and placed back into local communities to help prevent crime, we have been able to award £59,461.09.


“The fund has managed to support many organisations and projects such as: Well Minds in Kendal, where the funding helped deliver a 12-week wellbeing programme to equip up to 12 young people, between the ages of 16 and 18, with the skills and experience they need to improve their own wellbeing and to be able then to support others; and Northbank Football Club’s under 10’s team where the funding helped purchase kits and equipment for all the players and coaches.


“We have successfully bid for Government Funding £1,318,615 across the county to support our local communities and victims of crime.


“Several bids were used to help support and develop services across Cumbria that provide support, information and advice to victims of crime.


“The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme fund from the Home Office gave me the opportunity to extend the They Matter programme across the county.


“A programme aimed at reducing the risk to victims of abuse, by supporting the perpetrator to take responsibility and be accountable for their actions.


“Through the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, we have successfully bid for funding that has benefitted Barrow and Workington with home security packs, better local street lighting and more to create safer communities for everyone.


“Whitehaven is also benefitting from Safer Streets funding with a focus on violence on women and girls with active bystander training for organisations in the area, lighting and CCTV in Castle Park and launching a county-wide media campaign around consent.


“Violence against women and girls is a key priority in Cumbria and we were able to secure funding from the Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) Fund to help the prevention of violence against women and girls in the night-time economy in the Carlisle area.


“We are incredibly fortunate in Cumbria that we have a strong community culture, there is great support for the police, and I know that you will be looking out for the most vulnerable and giving them the support that they need.


“I would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year and with my very best wishes for a happy New Year.”


Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Once more this has been an incredibly challenging year for everybody, particularly in relation to the consequences the ongoing pandemic has had on daily life.


“Our police officers, staff, PCSOs and volunteers will be working throughout the festive period to keep people safe.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued commitment.


“I would also like to thank the public for their support and hard work throughout this year.


“The support we receive from our communities is crucial to keeping people safe and means a lot to all of our officers and staff.


“I would encourage anyone that requires our services to please get in touch.


“I wish everyone a peaceful and safe Christmas and New Year period.”


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