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Crime rises in Cumbria

Credit: ITV Border

Crime in Cumbria has risen by 4% over the last year, according to figures released this morning

But the county's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes claims that while this is disappointing, there has been a 15% drop in antisocial behaviour in the same period.

He says that the longterm trend in crime is also down, with overall crime falling by 10.8% and anti-social behaviour falling by 45.6% over the last five years.

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Sheep worth £50k stolen from Cumbrian farm

Swaledale sheep stolen from Long Marton Credit: NFU

The National Farmers Union is asking farmers to be vigilant after nearly £50,000 worth of sheep were stolen from a Cumbrian farm.

Twenty-six pedigree Swaledale breeding sheep were taken from an eight acre field at Long Marton near Appleby. It's thought the thieves must have experience rounding up livestock.

Victims and witnesses asked to help

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner is asking victims and witnesses to help improve services for their counterparts in the future.

Richard Rhodes has invited them to take part in a Consultation Group that has been established to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime and antisocial behaviour have a voice.

It is hoped the consultation process will mean that services available to those affected by crime are enhanced.

“Some of the work that the Victim Services Consultation Group will be involved in will include developing and auditing services and being consulted about future initiatives. I am committed to improving the experience of victims.”

– Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes

Number of rapes reported in Cumbria increases

The number of rapes recorded in Cumbria increased by 23 in the year 2013/14, compared to 2012/13.

The number of prosecutions and convictions also went up between 2012 and 2013, but the figure remains low:

  • Recorded rapes in 2012/2013 - 65 adults, 38 children
  • Recorded rapes in 2013/2014 - 80 adults, 46 children
  • Prosecutions for rape in 2012 - 9
  • Prosecutions for rape in 2013 - 24
  • Convictions for rape in 2012 - 3
  • Convictions for rape in 2013 - 6
25%
Of prosecutions for rape in 2013 led to convictions.

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Police appeal for vandalism witnesses

Police are appealing for witnesses after cars and a charity office in Dumfries and Galloway were vandalised.

A silver Jaguar car parked in Annan's Drummond Road was targeted sometime on Thursday night or the early hours of Friday and a blue Ford Fusion - on a driveway of a house at Durisdeer Mill in Thornhill - had its tyres vandalised on three separate occasions between the evening of Sunday 15 February and Thursday morning.

The premises of Apex Scotland in Friars Vennel, Dumfries also had a window smashed on Friday night or the early hours of Saturday morning.

Anybody with information about any of the crimes is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Appeal for custody volunteers

Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes Credit: ITV Border

New volunteers are needed to help check on the welfare of people held in police custody.

Cumbria's police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes is calling on west Cumbrians to come forward and join the area's independent custody visiting panel.

The panel comprises up to twelve local people - who have no connection with the police or any part of the criminal justice system - who make weekly unannounced visits, in pairs, to check on the well-being of those held in police custody.

They also ensure the statutory rules governing the way people are detained are being properly observed.

“The panel has lost a number of members through retirements and resignations and urgently needs some new volunteers to come forward to replace them.

“Custody visiting is a vital service which helps to ensure that people’s legal rights are respected and that their welfare and well-being is provided for. The custody visiting scheme offers protection both for detainees and for the police officers and staff who are responsible for their care while in custody and, equally importantly, provides reassurance to the public that people who are detained are treated correctly with respect and appropriate care.”

– Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes

The panel, one of four throughout Cumbria, provides visitors who inspect the main designated custody suite at Workington once a week, every week of the year and also visit the cells at Whitehaven police station whenever they are in regular use.

Each visitor makes around eight or ten visits per year, or roughly one every five or six weeks. Full training is provided and travelling and out-of-pocket expenses are payable.

Anyone interested in applying should contact Mr Rhodes’ office in Penrith for more information on 01768 217734, e-mail: commissioner@cumbria-pcc.gov.uk or visit the PCC website at www.cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/recruitment for more details and an application form. The closing date for applications is Friday 27 February.

Man arrested following crime spree

Police in the Borders have arrested and charged a 16-year-old man following a series of crimes committed in the Hawick area.

A total of five crimes were committed between Saturday November 29 and Wednesday January 7, including serious assault, assault and robbery, and theft from a motor vehicle.

He has also been charged with possession of cannabis.

He appeared at Jedbergh Sheriff's Court on Friday, January 9, and was subsequently released on bail.

"These crimes have caused significant distress to a number of people in the Hawick area over recent weeks.

"This behaviour is completely unacceptable and we are committed to ensuring that perpetrators of crimes such as these are found and brought to justice."

– DCI Stephen Healy

Anyone with information regarding these incidents should contact Police Scotland immediately on 101 or contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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