IT remains to be seen whether Cumbria will get 140 ‘new’ police officers under plans announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

That is the hope of the county’s Conservative police and crime commissioner, although how this figure shakes out in Barrow is not yet known.

Announcements made at party political conferences have to be treated with caution as we all know they are devised to grab quick headlines.

Precisely how these 20,000 ‘new’ officers will be divided up around the 40-odd forces in England and Wales has not been fully explained.

PCC Peter McCall insists that he will stand up for largely rural counties like ours to ensure the big cities don’t gobble up all the extra resources that have been promised, with the Met Police said to be making a claim for 6,000 of them. It will be a difficult case for Mr McCall to argue when you look at the levels of knife crime, terrorism prevention and child sexual exploitation required in other, larger, more populated parts of the country.

Given the success of Barrow police and partner agencies on Egerton Court, hopefully the Home Office will recognise that projects of this complexity require the kind of manpower that many smaller forces just do not have at their disposal.

Cllr Bill McEwan is quite right to put the commissioner on the spot in the hunt for clarity and detail.