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Monday, 20 October 2014

How will candidates protect thin blue line?

WHEN David Cameron’s government came to power, it promised it could undertake its programme of heavy cuts without impacting on front line services, including the NHS, education and the police.

EM John Woodcock
Barrow and Furness Labour MP John Woodcock

Plenty of people were sceptical about such claims at the time. Now we have the numbers to show they were simply untrue.

Last week I asked a parliamentary question about the numbers of front line police officers in Cumbria.

The answer revealed that numbers on the front line in the county have dropped by nearly 10 per cent since the last general election.

For the first time in over five years there are fewer than 1,000 officers to provide visible policing across more than 2,000 square miles; reductions as a direct result of 20 per cent cuts to police funding.

The thin blue line in Cumbria is getting thinner and I know that local residents are increasingly concerned about police becoming less visible on the streets.

With elections for the new Police and Crime Commissioner looming next week, Cumbrians need to be asking the candidates how they will fight to protect the front line.

Several people have contacted me on Twitter saying how frustrated they are about the lack of information about these elections and the candidates standing. People are right to moan; the whole process has been a shambles. But whether you agree with the idea of an elected police commissioner or not, the position is here and it is really important we get the best candidate for the job.

So I hope as many people as possible will be logging on to www.nwemail.co.uk for tomorrow’s hour-long web chat with the candidates, which begins at 5.30pm and that everyone who has a vote will cast it next Thursday.

OUR amazing Lake District scenery was at its finest on Sunday when I was walking from Dalton to Walney.

After a while I decided to leave the A590 and take a detour on the coastal path, but within a short time my bracing stroll came to a halt because the bridleway was blocked with overgrown brambles.

There are already access issues on parts of the route that we should explore. But we need to make sure the public areas are genuinely accessible.

Among the backwaters of Furness are to be found some of the best off-the-beaten-track ambles in the country.

Let us make sure these routes are kept open for everyone to enjoy – throughout all seasons of the year.

Have your say

Amazed that the Evening Mail hasn't picked up on the fact that Cumbria Police now has less than 1000 officers! In fact when you take out the near 100 who can not work fully operational then the figure drops to about 850!!! This is dangerous something will go wrong

Posted by Observer on 13 November 2012 at 12:40

The NHS wastes more money than any cuts it's ever subjected to. Always has done, even when I worked there 30 years ago.

Posted by Shadow on 10 November 2012 at 16:03

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