A Copeland community is to benefit from a dedicated policing team deployed to their town.
Millom is the latest place to feature in an expansion by Cumbria Constabulary of neighbourhood policing, with officers providing an enhanced visible presence and more capacity to respond to local concerns.
Five dedicated officers will be deployed from Whitehaven to the Millom area and will be based in the Network Centre on Salthouse Road, Millom
This has been made possible due to public support for an increase in the police part of the council tax bill, proposed by Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall to improve policing in the county.
It also follows the national Operation Uplift to increase police numbers – and comes on the back of already announced expansions earlier this year in south, west and north Cumbria.
The Constabulary has moved to expand neighbourhood policing because of the proven policing benefits in having officers who know their area well and who become familiar faces in the community.
It means extra officers will be based directly in these communities, where they can get an improved understanding of local issues and respond more quickly and more directly to neighbourhood concerns and needs.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “One of the key objectives for me since coming into post as Police and Crime Commissioner, has been to see greater visibility and numbers of offices out in our communities, where I know the public want to see them.
“I am delighted to note that we have seen an increase in the number of Police Officers since 2016, from 1120 to 1234 today. Over the last year, the deployment of additional officers into rural areas has been made possible due to the public support from increases in police council tax precept and also the Government’s recent initiative, Operation Uplift. It is of course entirely right that you should know where and how your money is being spent to keep our communities safe from crime.
“This month, Millom will benefit from the latest expansion of rural officers, with dedicated officers serving the town and its surrounding area.
“Neighbourhood policing works best when locally based officers work in local communities and this increase in visibility is starting to make a real difference in our communities.
“I know that the challenges of just getting to Millom makes many residents feel vulnerable to crime and I hope that this move provides the reassurance that the town and surrounding area does get the policing service it deserves.
Inspector Richard Smillie is the inspector in charge of the Copeland policing team.
He said: “Millom is following the many areas this year that we have been able to have officers placed back into the community.
“We have always had officers policing the area, but having officer dedicated to the area will be able to respond more efficiently and effectively to local concerns.
“Being based in the community will also help the officers gain understanding of local issues, as well as providing a recognisable presence.