I READ with some interest that ‘dedicated police officers are due to be deployed in a Furness town', in that new rural officers will be stationed in Ulverston in a scheme bringing extra police to a number of areas in the county.

I agree with the Police and Crime Commissioner that having police embedded in the community can – and does – make a real difference, but I can not help feeling that we have been here many many times before and it is always short term.

These initiatives are launched in a blaze of publicity, but are not sustained. May I remind Cumbria police that PC 153 Ollie Hamilton was embedded in the community of Ormsgill in Barrow from 2003 to 2010 and the community thrived because of his presence?

Crime, drugs, anti-social behaviour and the very fear of crime were reduced significantly, and trust in the police was re-established after a long absence.

Then they moved PC Ollie off Ormsgill back onto to response policing and all that community engagement and work and trust he had build up with the community was lost.

A few years ago in a blaze of publicity, it was announced that community policing would return to Ormsgill and it did for a short while – and then as quickly as it appeared it disappeared, as I predicted at the time it would!

So as much as I welcome news of more ‘dedicated officers' coming to my former town of Ulverston, I hope it will be sustained and not just another short-term PR initiative.


Former Curate of St Mary’s Ulverston and Parish Priest of Furness 1995-2008

Vicar within the Diocese of Newcastle.