Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “As we sit down to enjoy our Christmas celebrations, I would ask that you take a moment to think about all our emergency services who are working hard throughout the festive period to keep us all safe.
“I want to give my personal thanks to all emergency service workers in Cumbria who put their lives and health 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, Firefighters, civilian staff, and our many volunteers for all their hard work over the last year to keep us safe and consistently deliver professional and dedicated services.
“At this time of year, I like to look back on what has been achieved in the last 12 months.
“It has been a busy year with many changes taking place across Fire and Policing. We welcomed new Chiefs for both organisations, with Chief Constable Rob Carden and Chief Fire Officer Rick Ogden being appointed to lead their respective services.
“For Policing, we have reached the end of Operation Uplift, a national operation to recruit an additional 20,000 officers across England and Wales. Cumbria has recruited the extra 198 officers that were delegated to the county. Added to additional officers already recruited since 2016 we now have 1383 full-time equivalent Police Officers in Cumbria, the most the county has even seen.
“We have also seen the introduction of Community Beat Officers (CBO) introduced across the county. CBOs are dedicated, named officers who have responsibility for communities across the county, working with partners and residents to help tackle crime issues such as anti-social behaviour which has fallen by 10.5% in the last 12 months.
“In April 2023, I took on governance responsibility for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) as local government reform disbanded the County Council
“In the last eight months, we have been working closely with the Chief Fire Officer to stabilise a precarious budget, address issues raised by the negative HMICFRS report and to deliver a safe and legal service.
“I’m pleased to note that we have been able to secure additional funding support to deal with long standing problems with the Fire Estate and buildings many of which have suffered from under funding for many years. More work is needed, but the Chief Fire Officer and his team now have clear plans to continue this good work.
“We are incredibly fortunate in Cumbria that we have a strong community culture, and dedicated Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers, Firefighters (both full time and retained) and a committed and hardworking Police and Fire staff supporting front line operations for both organisations.
I am extremely grateful to every member of both services for their commitment, dedication and service throughout the year to keep our county safe and thank everyone for their service.
“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 Rob Carden, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Our police officers, staff, PCSOs and volunteers will be working throughout the festive period to keep our communities safe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for all their hard work, dedication and commitment over the past twelve months.
“I would also like to thank the public for their continued support throughout this year. The information we receive from our communities is crucial to keeping people safe.
“I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Year period.”
Chief Fire Officer, Rick Ogden, said: “At the end of a year of great change – and great progress – at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, it’s important that we pause for a moment to stock of everything we have achieved.
“It is fitting therefore that we ended our year with our annual awards ceremony last week, where we celebrated everything the best thing about Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service; that being our people.
“We have accomplished so much, and this could not have been achieved without the tremendous levels of professionalism, dedication and skills that we are fortunate to have right throughout our organisation; from those on the frontline who put their lives on the line every day, to our support staff who work tirelessly to keep us functioning so successfully.
“I’d like to thank everyone within our service – and all emergency services – who will be continuing to work hard throughout the festive period to keep us all safe.
“On behalf of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, I wish all our residents a safe and enjoyable festive period.”