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Police and Crime Commissioner 'relieved' after Autumn Statement

The PCC is relieved. Credit: PA

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes says he's "relieved" the force has been spared millions of pounds of cuts following the Autumn Statement.

Cumbria Police feared it would lose £11 million from its budget but Chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday the cut would not be going ahead.

Cumbria Police braced for spending cuts

Police have warned frontline services will be affected. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Cumbria Police is bracing itself for cuts of 25 per cent when the Chancellor George Osborne outlines his spending plans on Wednesday.

But the figure could be higher or lower depending on what the government agrees with the Home Office.

The force has already saved £20 million in the last five years.

An awful lot of the back office provision has already been taken away and there will come a point where a reduction in back office means officers on the frontline won't be able to operate effectively."

– Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner


Police search for missing Workington man

Rory Woodhall was reported missing on November 17 Credit: Cumbria Police

Police searching for a missing man from Workington are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

Rory Woodall, 36, of Harrington Road, Workington was last seen at a property on Curwendale, Stainburn on October 1. He was reported missing on November 17.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information regarding his whereabouts to contact them on 101. Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Roy Ledlingham said:

We are growing increasing concerned for Mr Woodall's welfare. No one has seen or heard from him since the start of October. I appeal to anyone that has any information on his whereabouts to contact us immediately.

If Mr Woodall sees this appeal, please get in touch with Cumbria Police and let us know that you are safe and well.

– Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Roy Ledingham, Cumbria Police

Man charged after armed robbery in Cumbrian village

The robbery occurred at Frizington Post Office on October 28 Credit: ITV

Police have charged a man in connection with a robbery at a post office in a Cumbrian Village.

Officers were called to Frizington Post Office at 6:17am on October 28 after a member of staff was threatened with a firearm. She was unharmed but left distressed after the incident.

Paul Farish, 18, has been charged with robbery and possessing an imitation firearm. He appeared at West Cumbria Magistrates Court today and has been remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Carlisle Crown Court on December 7.

A second man, aged 19, who was also arrested in connection with the incident has been released on police bail.

Police snow warning

Police are warning drivers to take care on our region's roads over the weekend after the first significant snow fell over night. Snow and ice are affecting many areas, especially on higher ground but so far no serious incidents on our roads have been reported.

"Deteriorating light and weather can lead to challenging conditions especially on narrow rural roads. We ask that all motorists take into account these challenges when driving as too many road collisions are caused by those in control of a vehicle failing to adapt.

Motorists are responsible for their own vehicle and making sure that there are no deficiencies. Please make sure that your lights are in working order and that oil, anti-freeze and washer fluid levels are kept topped up due to increased usage from dirt and salt that is sprayed up from wet roads.

“Winter tyre checks are also important in combating the elements. If you are unable to check them yourself please see a specialist who will be able to make sure that you have the correct tyre conditioning, pressure and tread depth. Some garages offer winter checks for free, so please take advantage of this as it can save lives."

– Chief Inspector Terry Bathgate, Cumbria Police

I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to raise awareness for motorists about the challenges faced when driving in the winter, and what checks they can carry out to ensure their cars are up to the task. Prevention is by far the best option, so I would urge motorists to take the necessary steps to stay safe, to prevent accidents and avoid prosecution.

– Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner Cumbria Police


Cumbria Police to recruit volunteers to help tackle speeding

Police are asking for volunteers to help crackdown on speeding Credit: Patrick Pleul/DPA/Press Association Images

Police are calling for volunteers to help tackle speeding in West Cumbria.

The new recruits will work as a team to educate locals about the risks of speeding and monitor speed at high risk locations.

All volunteers will be trained to carry out the role.

We are extremely excited to pilot this scheme in West Cumbria and feel the communities we serve, will see the benefits of this new initiative.”

– West Cumbria Chief Inspector Matt Kennerley

WATCH: Farron calls for police cuts to be scrapped

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP and Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron wants the Government to change the way it calculates police budgets, after it was found Cumbria Police could lose up to £31million.

He launched his campaign today after the policing minister had to delay cuts to police forces when an error was found in the calculations.

Tim Farron says a delay isn't good enough. He wants the cuts to be scrapped and he's asking people to sign a petition to that effect.

Cuts to Cumbria Police budget postponed

Credit: ITV Border

Proposed cuts to Cumbria Police have been delayed after the Government admitted it made an "embarrassing" mistake in calculating the savings.

The Constabulary had been facing cuts of £26million in 2016/17 under Home Office proposals but it's been revealed an error with the funding formula actually meant the force would need to save more the £31million.

Today the Policing Minister Mike Penning MP apologised for the error and said that Cumbria Police's 2016/17 budget would now be based on the existing formula.

"I and the government regret this mistake and I apologise to the House.

"I also apologise to the 43 authorities I wrote to during the extended consultation period as part of the funding formula review."

– Mike Penning MP, Policing Minister

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes and Chief Constable Jerry Graham have welcomed the announcement but say they still fear the impact of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review on the force's budget.

“I welcome the announcement from Policing Minister, Mike Penning today in the House of Commons to delay the implementation of the changes currently being consulted on under the police funding formula.

“The existing funding formula will be used for the 2016/17 budget year.

“I welcome that the funding formula will now be consulted upon properly and robustly and will ask to be part of any discussions about the future of the formula.

“However, the financial situation in Cumbria remains challenging and we wait with some trepidation the announcement about future budget cuts under the Comprehensive Spending Review to be announced on 25 November.”

– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

“I am pleased that the Home Office is delaying the changes in the funding formula at this time.

“The policing budget is still unclear whilst we await the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review on the 26th November.

“The work we have done recently outlines the massive operational impact that significant level of cuts would have on policing services in Cumbria. Previous proposals would have left policing unrecognisable in the county.

“We continue to support the Police and Crime Commissioner to feed back the implications that further reductions in our budget would have on policing the county effectively.”

– Chief Constable Jerry Graham, Cumbria Police

Data error could mean extra £5.8m of police funding cuts

The police could face more cuts. Credit: ITV Border

An error in the formula used to calculate cuts to police forces "undermines the credibility" of the cuts, according to Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Richard Rhodes says the mistake, which was spotted by Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner, could mean extra cuts of £5.8 million for Cumbria Constabulary.

Those extra cuts would bring the total Cumbria Police is set to lose, under the Police Funding Formula, up to £15.3 million.

That would mean a total budget reduction of £31.8 million, rather than the £26 million, which Chief Constable Jerry Graham had previously warned was calling the force's viability into question.

Based on the information that we have received today our understanding at this time is that it is indicated under the Police Funding Formula consultation that we may lose an additional £5.8m bringing our total loss under the Funding Formula to £15.3m.

If these figures are correct it would bring our total budget reduction to £31.8m and we are waiting for urgent confirmation of this from the Home Office.

The provision of accurate percentages to allow PCCs and Chief Constables to assess the potential impact of proposals on individual forces is a critical part of the process.

We would therefore urge the Home Office to appoint an independent panel to review the funding formula and consultation process”.

– Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner
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