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Knife crime and antisocial driving targeted in north Cumbria

Knife Arch operation at Carlisle Railway Station

A busy week of action in North Cumbria saw local officers targeting some of the issues most important to local people.

In Carlisle, Cumbria Police officers joined colleagues from the British Transport Police for a highly visible operation at Carlisle Railway Station aimed at proactively tackling knife crime in the city whilst educating members of the public about some of the methods the police have at their disposal.

Officers in the city also took heed of the public’s calls for more action to be taken against those distracted at the wheel with five drivers in Carlisle caught on Wednesday morning and issued with Fixed Penalty Notices for using their phone whilst driving.

Whilst, in the afternoon, officers carried out speed checks at locations on the outskirts of the city – including some specially chosen by people of the Carlisle Focus Facebook page – in areas such as School Road, London Road and Sewell Lane.

At the weekend officers ran Operation Optical in Carlisle and Longtown with the assistance of passive Police drugs dogs PD Millie and PD Frank. The dogs helped officers located small quantities of Class A and Class B drugs.

At the request of further educational premises passive dogs were also put to work as students travelled to and from their college. There were two indications with one older student being given a cannabis warning.

In Eden, officers prioritised rural crime and antisocial driving in towns.

At the weekend, officers were first in Penrith town centre at various locations including KFC/B&M car park speaking with young drivers about their driving habits.

The message was particularly timely following a highly-publicised court case the same week relating to a young driver being convicted of dangerous driving.

A similar operation was also carried out in Appleby. As a result, officers spoke with 25 young drivers about antisocial driving and carried out general vehicle checks. Eight drivers were issued with warnings about vehicle defects and told about the potential consequences if they were not resolved.

In other areas of Eden, such as Kirkby Stephen, officers were busy speaking to people about crime prevention during the winter months and working with farmers to combat sheep theft in the area.

Speed camera operation

Superintendent for North Cumbria, Matt Kennerley, said: “The Knife Arch operation was well-received and we were pleased to see that, of the more than 300 people who passed through the arch, none were found to be carrying weapons.

“In conjunction with our regular knife amnesties we will continue to be proactive about knife crime in our on-going efforts to prevent the spread of crime trends which have impacted other cities spreading to Carlisle.

“We will continue to listen to the public about their priorities and I can assure people these types of proactive activities are not one-offs. Whilst we’ve badged this past week as a Week of Action, we will be carrying out such work all year round.”

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “Our officers work 365 days a year to help keep people safe and this past week we opened our doors to shine a light on unseen policing which the majority of people are unaware of.

“From dawn drug raids to distracted drivers, our officers have been busy across the county this past week, tackling issues that local communities have told us are important to them.

“But I can assure people this is not a one-off. This type of activity is going on every day – and will continue to do so.

“I can promise the public our officers will continue to work diligently – often alongside colleagues from partner agencies, both in the emergency services and beyond – to tackle community issues, arrest criminals and keep Cumbria one of the safest places in the country to live, work and visit.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria Peter McCall said: “The Police are dealing with all types of crime, including those highlighted in this week of action every day.  The point of a week of action is to focus on those issues which the public tell us concern them locally and to send a strong message to people who break the law, that the police can and do respond and you will be caught.

“The week of action is also a good opportunity to recognise the excellent work our police do every week to keep Cumbria as one of the safest in the counties in the country.”

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