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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Police and crime commissioner calls Cumbria one of the 'safest' places to live

Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes has said the last 12 months has not been without its ‘difficult challenges and decisions’.

He said: “As we approach Christmas it is a good time to reflect on the achievements of the last 12 months and look forward to the opportunities that the New Year will provide.

“It has been a busy year and not without its difficult challenges and decisions.

“I like to spend as much of my time speaking directly to people to hear their views and thoughts about policing in Cumbria both present and in the future.

“I have now undertaken more than 70 public engagements and received more than 5,000 pieces of correspondence and I am always grateful for the warm welcome that I receive.

“I am looking forward to working with the people of Cumbria in the next year.

“Importantly, I am pleased to say that Cumbria remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit. This has been achieved despite a reducing budget.

“As the budget reduces hard decisions have to be made.

“However, many of you have told me when I have been out and about that you want to see as many police officers as possible and as a result I have committed to maintain police officer and PCSO numbers at the same level for this and the next financial years.

“Much of the work undertaken in 2013 starts to come into fruition in 2014.

“One of the initiatives that I am extremely pleased about is that a county wide solution for CCTV will be achieved.

“The new system will use the latest technology in key locations to help support and reassure people.

“During the year three professional leads seconded to me from partner organisations have been working hard on review papers that set the way forward for victims, domestic abuse, sexual violence, restorative justice and youth justice.

“This is exciting and highlights new areas of work where the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner can really make a difference and take a lead on these priority areas.

“During the election I highlighted the greater need for victims to be taken into

consideration and I am even more committed to this having spoken first-hand to a number of victims and listening to the feedback that they have given.

“In 2014, I will be launching a charitable trust and this will be focusing on becoming a victim’s champion and advocacy service.

“There will be a good opportunity to influence the services locally when the centralised funding from the Ministry of Justice moves across to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I will in the new year be starting the process to appoint a permanent Chief Constable.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and I look forward to working with you in 2014.”

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