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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Tough job for new Cumbria police boss, says ex-chairman

THE departed head of Cumbria police authority has paid tribute to the officers he worked with.

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END OF ERA: Outgoing police authority chairman Cllr Ray Cole

Councillor Ray Cole served as the chairman of the authority for three years.

The authority was abolished to make way for the new police and crime commissioner as part of government reforms.

Cllr Cole said the authority played a key role in keeping Cumbria’s streets safe.

He said: “The police authority played a very important role. We were there to support the police and we also challenged them too, to make sure they were good value for money.

“And you can see by the figures that crime and anti-social behaviour are down and that public confidence in the police is high. Cumbria is a really safe place to live.”

Cllr Cole, who spoke out before the elections about his fear that the role could be about politics rather than policing, said new commissioner Richard Rhodes has some tough decisions to make.

He said: “I wish the new police and crime commissioner well. He has a very difficult job ahead of him, particularly coming in and setting up the budget.

“George Osborne’s autumn review is expected soon and I don’t think that is going to be good news for anyone.

“Obviously he will have a lot of work to do but he will have good, talented team of officers to support him.”

Cllr Cole, who served as a police inspector in Millom, said he enjoyed his time with the authority but had to make some difficult calls in the last few years.

He said: “It was fantastic, really enjoyable. The last two years were extremely difficult and some of the decisions were ones that we would never have wished that would never have to take. I never wished to make anyone redundant.

“Generally though it was good because I still feel passionately about the police and we did a good job in difficult circumstances.”

Have your say

Thank you to Ray Cole for a good job done as Chair of Cumbria Police Authority. Like Cllr. Cole I feared that the elected Police and Crime Commissioner would politicise the police. Thankfully Richard Rhodes is not an ex-councillor or a politician and those that went on his website or read his leaflets will see that he has extensive experience working as a magistrate and with the probation service. This man knows his subject. He prides himself in not being political. Cllr. Cole is right, Mr Rhodes has an extremely difficult job ahead of him. He will have a very tight budget. The police are feeling the pinch like everybody else due to the previous Labour Government's extravagant waste. In response to Jimmy Foodlaw above. it is not ideal that Millom Police Station has gone and there should be more Bobbies on the beat. However, Cumbria is relatively speaking a safe place to live. Having lived in Greater Manchester, with inner city crime and burglary, Millom is paradise. Once again thanks to Cllr. Cole for his hard work and best wishes to Mr Rhodes.

Posted by Jane Micklethwaite on 29 November 2012 at 15:12

Utter garbage from Mr Cole. He says public confidence in police is high, where did he pull that from? He's trying to pass his own thoughts as true facts.What's happened to policing in Millom is a utter disgrace. Millom police station is now located within school grounds, surely this isn't a safe location. Don't try to cover up blatant cost cutting and try to dress it up as something that is for the good of the town Mr Cole. Hang your head in shame.

Posted by Jimmy Foodlaw on 26 November 2012 at 18:38

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