[P]olice and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall is now starting his third year in Office.
Police and Crime Commissioners have a wide range of responsibilities the main focus being the voice of the people of Cumbria in policing, holding the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of policing and setting the council tax precept to provide a sustainable police service.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “I would like to thank the public of Cumbria for their continued support.
“It is only with your support that policing in Cumbria remains as strong as it is and keeping us all safe especially at a time when crime is changing at a fast pace. Statistics indicate that crime is increasing, however much of this is due to better reporting and recording of crime in relation to sexual and hate crime which have often gone unreported in the past.
“Crime is becoming more complex as we see emerging threats such as modern day slavery, cyber-crime and the effects of organized crime groups from outside the county and we must evolve to counter new threats effectively. Watch out for free cyber training in your area to help protect yourself from the online threat.
“As crime is changing so is policing and that is why I am keen to involve younger people in policing and breaking down the barriers, this is called Citizens in Policing. We have already seen the start of this with the introduction of Mini Police. There is more to come with the roll out of Mini Police across the county together with the launch of the Police Cadets in June. I am pleased that the Youth Commission now in its second year is developing well and starting to influence the way that the police tackle crime.
“Our Specials, volunteers and Independent Custody Visitors also play a crucial role. I realise that not everyone can volunteer but the simplest way that you can help is for you to have the confidence to report crimes or incidents to the police. I can assure you that you will be taken seriously so please report to help prevent you and others becoming victims.
“Our financial position remains challenging. I hear a very clear message from you that you want to see greater visibility of police officers in your communities. That is why, after a public consultation and taking account of the views of the Chief Constable, I took the decision to increase the policing part of the council tax. This was not an easy decision, but I felt that your safety and security is paramount. I am really pleased we are now in the process of recruiting 25 additional police officers who will be out there on the beat supported by maintaining PCSO numbers at 95. I won’t pretend that will fix everything but it is a step in the right direction. This is the first time that we have seen an increase in officer numbers since 2009.
“I am pleased to report that improvements are being made to the performance of the 101 service. This will take time and be significantly helped by new computer technology coming online at the start of 2019. The telephone is just one of the ways to contact the police and more people are now using the online form available via the website which is quickier and free of charge.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated workforce and I would like to thank the officers and staff for their hard work and support. Cumbria is a safe place, working together I intend that we keep it that way. We have a good performing force as confirmed by the Independent Police Inspectorate and together we will continue to make Cumbria even safer.”