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Saturday, 28 March 2015

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Blast over lack of senior police officer at Millom policing meeting

FRUSTRATED councillors have accused Cumbria police of letting services in Millom “go to the wall” while Barrow receives a new multi-million pound station.

During a Millom Town Council meeting on Wednesday, frustration was voiced at a decline in police “communication” in Millom since the closure of its police station.

Councillor Frank McPhillips (pictured) also said the lack of a senior police officer at the meeting was “not acceptable”.

Although PCSO Paul Booth attends council meetings from time to time, Cllr McPhillips stressed a senior officer’s presence was necessary.

He said: “We need a senior officer here so we can question them PCSO Booth does an excellent job but he can’t get us the answers we want.”

Deputy mayor Fee Wilson said: “I know we have been told that crime figures for Millom are not anything to worry about, but we have had two murders in our community and I think it would have been correct if not essential for a member of the police force to have come down to this meeting.’’

Cllr Wilson also hit out at money spent on Barrow’s new station, which will cost £8.5m. She said: “Why can they spend money on a new station in Barrow when the services in this town are going to the wall?”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said: “Invitations for a senior police officer to attend the meeting are welcome and if available, we will try to attend. “Police in West Cumbria take the concerns of the public seriously and we make every effort to have a police representative at meetings which require one in order to engage with the public. Our police community support officers provide a link in the communities in which they police and their attendance at council meetings is an important part of their role.’’

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