More than 1000 arrests made in Cumbria as part of festive crackdown on crime

As part of efforts to keep people across Cumbria safe throughout December, police officers and staff have worked round-the-clock to target criminals and prevent crime.

A total of 1,032 arrests were made during December with 794 stop searches also carried out during the month.

A series of policing operations took place covering themes such as drink and drug driving, burglary prevention, VAWG (violence against women and girls), domestic abuse, personal safety, retail crime and targeting wanted people.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Stalker said: “Our officers have worked incredibly hard throughout the festive season to ensure our communities were kept safe and those who committed crime are held to account.

“We increased the number of officers on patrol and on specific operations to ensure that we had sufficient resource to tackle criminality throughout the festive period.

“December is often one of our busiest periods of the year and I am delighted to say that our officers were able to respond quickly to the vast majority of incidents.

“Whilst a significant number of arrests have been made, it is also important to note that the efforts made throughout December will have led to countless crimes being prevented.

“This prevention work is key. Officers from our neighbourhood policing teams have engaged with communities and provided a visible presence to deter criminals and reassure law-abiding people. We have also conducted a number of public awareness campaigns to prevent crime and keep people safe.

“The work to tackle criminality continues with many investigations ongoing.

“We are also continuing to appeal for information form the public on the whereabouts of individuals shared as part of our Wanted This Winter campaign. Whilst we have located five out of the 12 individuals subject to this appeal, I would urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the remaining seven individuals to please get in touch.”

Some of the key work and results include:

Drink and Drug Driving – Operation Limit

Officers stopped more than 1,800 motorists during December as part of a proactive approach to prevent loss of life on Cumbria’s roads. In total, 1,302 people were tested at the roadside and 130 people were arrested.

Of those arrested, 70 were on suspicion of driving whilst over the limit for drugs and 56 on suspicion of driving whilst over the limit for alcohol.

Burglary prevention – Operation Themis

Operation Themis is the force’s ongoing response to burglaries. Throughout the month crime prevention advice was issued to the public on ways to ensure the security of a person’s home and deter criminals.

68 burglaries were reported during the month, with 53 arrests made so far. Investigations into the reported offences continue as officers do all they can to identify those responsible and secure charges.

Domestic abuse

In December over 90 arrests were made in relation to domestic abuse-related incidents.

An initiative was conducted in the Carlisle and Wigton area where officers were joined on shift by Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA). This enabled victims of reported domestic abuse to receive immediate support and advice from independent safeguarding experts. Work will now be ongoing to explore how this can be rolled out on a more regular basis.

Operation Merlin

Officers once again carried out enquiries under Operation Merlin, which targets wanted individuals in Cumbria.

Over a period of four days, officers arrested 20 individuals wanted for a range of offences including Class A drug supply. Notably, on one day alone, police arrested 11 wanted people.

Tackling serious and organised crime – Operation Alliance

Operation Alliance is the force’s ongoing response to serious and organised crime in Cumbria.

Officers continued to tackle serious and organised criminality during December, with the force’s Road Crime Unit seizing more than £425,000 from the county’s road networks.

12 kilos of cannabis was also seized during the month.

Incident attendance

The force ensured a swift response to calls for service during one of the busiest periods of the year for demand on policing. During December, Cumbria Police received calls for 8,128 incidents.

Officers managed to respond to 92.8% of the 2,501 incidents graded as an emergency calls (where police attendance was required) within the target response time. They also manged to attended 96.3% of the 1,780 incidents graded as a priority response (where police attendance was required) within the target response time.

Safety in nightlife areas

Visibility within town and city centre areas was increased throughout the month as officers were out on foot to keep people safe, specifically in nightlife areas where people were celebrating the festive period.

Officers worked with partner agencies to ensure the safety of people and were central to welfare areas where people could speak to officers and report any concerns.

As part of preventative work, officers conducted 782 licensing visits to premises across the county. These visits were conducted to support licensees in collective efforts to keep their customers safe.

Retail crime

Officers and PSCOs carried out engagement patrols in shopping areas across the county to help prevent offences such as shoplifting occur.

Where offences did occur, officers were quick to respond and begin investigations. During December, 67 people were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.

As part of these patrols, officers and PCSOs met with business owners to provide advice and support.

Fraud prevention

A series of preventative events were carried out across the county during December.

Officers conducted a number of talks at the University of Cumbria as part of a money mule awareness initiative. These talks are aimed at reaching out to students and providing them with information to prevent them being used to launder money in return for payment or reward.

Fraud prevent and protect talks were also carried out to Neighbourhood Watch members in Brampton and Workington.

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