POLICE have launched a crackdown that will tackle serious and organised crime through 'intelligence-led operations' in a ward in Barrow

Happy Hopeful Hindpool aims to clear the area of crime, prevent other criminals controlling the vacuum and then building the community 'back up into a thriving area.' 

Chief inspector Natalie Jukes said: "Hindpool was chosen as we have seen the damaging effects that a small number of criminals have on the wider community here.

"Through working with our partner agencies and pooling out efforts to tackle these criminals, not just through enforcement, but by concentrating on providing help and support, we hope to see a long-term reduction in future offending in the area." 

Barrow Central and Hindpool saw 252 recorded crimes in April 2023. The most reported crime was violence and sexual offences (115), followed by anti-social behaviour (34) and public order (28). 

Drug dealer Michael Torkington was raised as a recent example of someone who had been caught in Hindpool since the initiative was launchedDrug dealer Michael Torkington was raised as a recent example of someone who had been caught in Hindpool since the initiative was launched (Image: Cumbria Police)

There were 14 crimes related to drugs that month. One recent example chief inspector Jukes gave of a criminal operation that was busted by police was Michael Torkington, who was sentenced to 32 months in prison after he was found with over £3,000 of cocaine following a stop by officers during work on the 'clear' phase. 

“Police in Barrow have already started to address this over the last two to three months by carrying out warrants and placing officers on patrol within the community. We have already seen some success through this activity by removing drugs and the proceeds of crime from the area," she said. 

“Hindpool is a safe place to live but by focussing our efforts on the area and working with the community to build on the work our partners are already doing, we hope we can improve the safety and positivity in the area."

The police will partner with Westmorland and Furness Council, the fire service, The Well, Cumbria Probation Service, local NHS, Women's Community Matters, Recovery Steps and Family Action to deliver the project. 

The aim is to establish long-term resilience to crime by the police working with partners and residents. 

There will be planned events in the community to allow input from residents on how the  police and partners can best support them. 

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, David Allen, said: “Every community in Cumbria deserves to be a safe place, free of crime.

"My manifesto commitment was to create more visible policing, reduce anti-social behaviour and tackle crime The ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ initiative will provide Cumbria Constabulary and partner agencies the opportunity to reduce serious and organised crime in Hindpool and create a safer place for those who live and work in the area.

"This approach fits in with the Chief Constables 4C vision for Cumbria – a Contempt For Criminality and a Community Focus. By working in this manner, the force works with local partner agencies and the community we serve to bring about a better, safer Cumbria. “This multi-agency approach is a clear message to organised crime groups: there is no place for you in Cumbria and when you are caught you will face the consequences.

“I am delighted to be part of this work and wholeheartedly support it. I look forward to seeing how this programme develops and the results for Hindpool.

“I would encourage the public to continue to report any suspicious and illegal behaviour to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. With your help, we can continue to fight crime in your community.”