Commissioner, Peter McCall has launched his fourth Annual Report this week, a statutory responsibility under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility, as part of the public holding-to-account role.
The Annual Report covers the period from 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020 and sets out how the Commissioner has carried out his statutory functions, such as setting the budget, developing a Police and Crime Plan and holding the Chief Constable to account.
Peter McCall said: “I would like to say how proud I am of Cumbria Constabulary, its officers, PCSOs, police staff, and volunteers, for continuing to keep the county one of the safest places to live.
“This Annual Report covers the period from 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020, and towards the end of this period, we faced, and still do, some of the most challenging times that our generation has known.
“I think we can all be proud of the incredible community response together with the outstanding commitment from the Constabulary, our NHS, emergency services and other agencies for their coordinated approach to the pandemic.
“Notwithstanding the current Covid situation, my fourth Annual Report looks back over the last 12 months, which in general terms has been a good year for policing in Cumbria.
“The Government’s Operation Uplift announcement initiated a significant and much needed increase to Police Officer numbers, both nationally and within the county. We recruited 51 new officers, 12 months ahead of the national deadline, with the aim of having our new recruits trained and out on our streets fighting crime as quickly as possible.
“We have additional officers based in some of our more rural locations. This has been a direct response to issues that you have raised with me consistently over the last four years. We asked, you said, we have delivered. It also means that our officers in urban locations can remain focused on those areas, without having to travel to cover outlying rural villages too. This is a real step forward for policing in the county
“During the year, we have been able to continue to support third sector organisations doing such good work across the county, for example we now have three Women’s Centres providing consistent support to women in crisis (of all kinds) and helping them start the recovery journey.
“We have been able to extend the county’s CCTV scheme by working alongside district, town and parish councils, putting an additional 24 cameras in key locations across the county including Cockermouth, Kirkby Lonsdale, Brampton and Milnthorpe. This takes the total of CCTV cameras in the county to 80.
“A key part of my role is listening and responding to the concerns of the public. Throughout this Annual Report, I have tried to provide a good insight into the breadth and depth of how I have engaged with, and listened to you, the people of Cumbria. I know that I can never give the answers that individuals might be seeking, but it is important that every case is heard and considered, and I am grateful to all who get in touch with essential feedback.
“I hope that as you read this report you can detect that much of the work we do is in collaboration with others, the broader public, third sector, local councils, business, volunteers and many others.
“By working together, we can ensure that our communities not only remain safe, but that they flourish. The cornerstone of my vision has always been ‘we, not they’, and I will continue to do as much as possible to empower communities to help achieve this.”