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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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New Sellafield police squad created

A NEW police squad has been set up to cover Sellafield.

The unit, run by Cumbria police, will deal with prevention of crime and general offences in and around the nuclear site following funding that allows the force to take on more officers.

Eight police have started work in the new team, called the Sellafield Policing Unit – which will be based at both the site itself and Whitehaven Police Station – and this is due to grow to 17 as more recruits are taken on.

Sellafield’s own police force, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, will concentrate on site security.

Cumbria police chiefs say the move follows months of discussions.

The Government, through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has provided the cash. The sum involved has not been revealed.

Cumbria Police said the officers will be “dedicated to policing the site and the immediate vicinity”, adding the funding was allowing the force to do this without detracting from its work in Copeland.

Bernard Lawson, Cumbria’s temporary chief constable, said the set-up would benefit those who work and live around the site as well as the wider community.

“Although the team’s main focus will be on attending incidents that affect the site, they will also be a resource we can call on to attend issues that affect the surrounding community,” he added.

“Cumbria Constabulary has a successful history of working alongside Sellafield Ltd and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and we all share an understanding in the joint role we have in maintaining site security.

“We have created a new agreement which will see Cumbria Constabulary take responsibility for general policing issues such as upholding the law and preventing crime. This will allow the Civil Nuclear Constabulary to continue concentrating on site security.”

The Sellafield Policing Unit will have one sergeant, one detective constable and 15 constables. The force says it will respond to incidents after being dispatched by the Cumbria police communications centre.

Rory O’Neill, director for stakeholder relations at Sellafield Ltd, said: “We welcome the additional knowledge and skills that Cumbria Constabulary will bring to our existing arrangements with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the benefits for our surrounding community.”

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