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Constabulary “overwhelmed” by public support over “devastating” cuts

Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Constabulary says it has been "overwhelmed" by the level of public support for its campaign opposing proposed government cuts to the force's budget.

Proposed changes to how money is allocated to police forces in England and Wales, combined with forecasted cuts as part of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, might mean Cumbria facing budget cuts of £26 million.

The Constabulary has already made £20 million worth of savings by reducing officer and staff numbers, closing stations, and restructuring the way policing works in the county.

“We have been overwhelmed by the level of public support we have received in the face of potentially devastating cuts. I feel fortunate to work with dedicated individuals and teams whose service is so important to the people living in this county.

“Thousands of people across Cumbria have responded to news of the cuts by signing a petition set up by local media, making their views known across social media, and by contacting their local MPs.

“This demonstration of support for policing in Cumbria has been gratefully received by officers and staff working for the force in a challenging time, during which they are continuing to provide the best policing service we can afford to keep people safe.

“I have given my personal reassurance that we will do everything we can to protect policing in Cumbria.”

– Chief Constable Jerry Graham, Cumbria Police

A video is available online which outlines Mr Graham’s concerns regarding the cuts - click here to watch the film.

Funding for projects to tackle child sex exploitation

Credit: ITV Border

Funding has been awarded to two projects aimed at tackling child sexual exploitation in Cumbria.

Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes has earmarked nearly £120,000 over two years to support 'Chelsea's Choice' and 'Tackling CSE in Cumbria'.

Chelsea's Choice - a production that highlights the emotional impact of child sex exploitation - was performed in 33 secondary schools around the county during February and March. It's success has seen it awarded £37,000 so its run can be extended.

Tackling CSE in Cumbria is a Brathay Trust delivered programme for young people who are being, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited. The scheme has been granted £82,500.

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes Credit: ITV Border

“I’m really keen that more resources are put in to tackling child sexual exploitation.

"This is too big a subject for any one agency – the police, children’s services, social services, teachers, so I am particularly pleased to see some really good examples of partnership working in these two projects. It is only by working together we can improve the chances of keeping our young people safe.”

– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

“We are delighted that the Police and Crime Commissioner sees the issue of child sexual exploitation as a priority in Cumbria. While there is a huge amount of good work being done by organisations such as the NSPCC and Safety Net, we know there is far more that needs to be done.

"Brathay’s approach is to work closely with the police and existing services to fill gaps; we will target those young people not receiving support but where we know there is significant risk and to involve them in developing services across the county."

– Jenni MacDuff, Brathay Trust

Carlisle officer named rugby captain for England police

Sergeant Lee Brumpton Credit: Cumbria Police

A Cumbria Police officer has been appointed vice-captain of the England Police Rugby Union Team.

Sergeant Lee Brumpton, who is based in Carlisle, was appointed vice-captain following his performance against the Australia Police Rugby Union Team on 10 October 2015.

Lee started at number 8 against the Aussies in the clash that took place at Imber Court sports ground in south west London.

Australia won 21-18... but Sergeant Brumpton made a strong enough impression to win the armband:

I am delighted to have been named vice-captain, playing rugby is a passion of mine and to be selected for your country is a great honour.

Further fixtures against Police Scotland, the England Deaf Rugby Union Team and Ireland Police have been lined up and I am looking forward to them.

I was called up for the Australia game after being selected from a pool of 100 players who were nominated by colleagues. The match against the Aussies was a tough encounter and we were unlucky to lose, hopefully we can find a few wins in the upcoming games.”

– Sergeant Lee Brumpton

The next game will take place on 8 November 2015 against the England Deaf Rugby Union Team in Nottingham.

WATCH: Policing in Cumbria in the line of fire

Policing in Cumbria is under threat, and a "degraded service" could be inevitable, according to the force's Chief Constable.

Hannah McNulty has this report on proposals for cuts of £26 million, and the Chief Constable's scathing response:

You can watch ITV Border's extended interview with the Chief Constable of Cumbria Police, here:


Police reassure public of social media rumours

Cumbria Police Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Police have received a number of reports around the perceived suspicious activity of two vehicles in west Cumbria.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harwood said:

Rumours and speculation has been building on social media in the last couple of days surrounding suspicious activity from two vehicles.

Police have followed up enquires from members of the public, and no evidence of criminal activity has been found.

I want to reassure the members of our local communities that although there have been rumours circulating on social media of potential house marking and dog thefts no such incidents have been reported to us and our enquiries to date have not disclosed any such incidents in west Cumbria or across the wider county of Cumbria.

However, if anyone has been a victim of crime I would urge them to get in touch and report it so that we can investigate.”

– Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harwood
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