Making Cumbria Even Safer
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February 2017

In this edition of my newsletter you can read about:
  • Budget setting and precept;
  • HMIC PEEL Inspection: Police Effectiveness;
  • New Website;
  • Property and Community  Funds;
  • Public Engagement Events.

Budget Setting and Precept

I can now confirm that I have set the budget for 2017/18 following public consultation, feedback from the Chief Constable and the unanimous support from the Police and Crime Panel. The council tax policing precept will be increased by 1.91% for 2017/18.  This is an increase of £4.14 per annum for a band D property and takes the total police element of the council tax at band D to £220.77 per annum and a band B increases by £3.22 to £171.71 per annum.
I do of course recognise and understand that any tax increase is unwelcome, I would like to thank the people of Cumbria and the Police and Crime Panel for their support and understanding in increasing the council tax precept.
This ensures that the Chief Constable has the funds to maintain the policing requirements for Cumbria over the next 12 months. Critically the budget allows us to protect police officer numbers to remain at 1,122 and PCSOs at 95. 
The budget also reflects the changing nature of crime with it becoming more complicated and taking longer to solve.  In order to meet those challenges the budget will allow for improved neighbourhood policing, which is a common public concern, and civil investigators to help investigate non-recent sexual abuse and violence crimes.
The increase in council tax helps our overall budget position for the long term.  We know that one of our key income streams (funding formula) is under review.  We are fully engaged in the review process and we expect the consultation phase in spring 2017.  This remains an area of significant risk.
I am determined to ensure that Cumbria continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit and this budget allows us to resource and support our police. 

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) PEEL Inspection: Police Effectiveness (2016)

This week I received a report from the independent, professional body HMIC and I was pleased to see that Cumbria Constabulary has been assessed as overall ‘good’. HMIC recognised that the force is good at keeping people safe and reducing crime, and that the Constabulary has an effective approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and tackling serious and organised crime. It also has good arrangements in place to protect victims and to investigate crime effectively.
This is a good result, and demonstrates the significant improvements that have been made since the 2015 inspection. This in turn gives me professional assurance that some of the short-comings identified in the past have been successfully addressed.
However, I do acknowledge that the report identifies that despite some progress since the 2015 inspection in how the force protects those who are vulnerable from harm, there is still work to be done to improve this further, this is consistent with all forces across the UK. I know that the force are working hard to develop their capabilities and raise standards in this area, and have an action plan in place which sets this out clearly.
It was good to see that victim satisfaction in Cumbria remains high at 89.5% compared to the level for England and Wales of 83.3%.  There is still more work to do but this is a real positive which reflect the hard work of officers and staff to support victims.
I would like to reassure you all that as part of holding the Chief Constable to account I regularly scrutinise all aspects of the force’s performance at my Public Accountability Conference, and that includes assessing progress on actions arising from HMIC reports.  I will be challenging the Chief Constable to demonstrate to me that the force is addressing the recommendations and timely progress is being made, especially in the area of protecting the vulnerable in our communities.
Overall though, we should all be rightly proud of our officers and staff and that Cumbria Constabulary is a good force, tackling crime and protecting us from harm.  Thanks also to our partners and people like you in our communities - together we are all working to keep Cumbria safe.

New Website

I am really pleased to report that my website is undergoing a bit of a makeover, and we plan to launch it within the next few weeks.  I hope you will find it informative, interesting, and easy to use.    We have tried to make it as intuitive and engaging as we can, with a modern look and feel. I would welcome your views on it, so please do feel free to share your thoughts once it is up and running.  Meanwhile you can keep up to date with news and information at the following address:

Property and Community Funds

Do you have any ideas for projects that you would like to carry out in your local area that require some funding?  I have a number of funds that people can apply to, depending on how much you are looking for, and what sort of project you have in mind.  As long as your project will help to tackle crime or anti-social behaviour in your community, you may well qualify for a grant from either my Property Fund or my Community Fund.
The Property Fund was established to return to the community money seized in the county from criminal activity.  Community groups can apply for up to £2.5k, but applications must come through your local policing team.  To give you an idea of the type of thing I have funded in the past, we have supported local scout and guides groups, funded activities for vulnerable groups, supported community ‘speedwatch’ schemes, bought equipment for youth clubs and sports clubs etc.
Alternatively the Community Fund is open for applications up to £10k, and is for larger projects. For instance we have funded organisations to run hate-crime workshops, training courses for people dealing with those affected by dementia, domestic abuse support groups, various youth projects and support for those dealing with drugs or alcohol misuse.
The main proviso for applications to both funds is that your project needs to demonstrate that it can contribute to helping to keep Cumbria safe by tackling an issue that has been identified as a priority in my Police and Crime Plan. 
You will be able to find out all about these and other funds, along with the eligibility criteria and application forms by contacting my office for an information pack.  This will be available on my website too, once it is up and running.

Recent Photos 

Public Engagement Events

Over the coming months I will be out and about across the county trying to speak to as many of you as possible.  Talking to and listening to the public is a key part of my job, and a great way for me to hear first-hand from you just what your experience is of the police in Cumbria.  I would encourage you to come along and have a chat with me, share your views and raise any issues you have. It is also a great way for you to find out a bit about what I do, and ask me questions.
I always try to vary the times, venues and locations of the surgeries to make myself accessible to as many of you as I can, and in the past I have held surgeries in auction marts, village halls, market halls, supermarkets and cafés.  If you have any suggestions of where I might set up a surgery in your local area, please let me know as we are always on the look-out for suitable and accessible venues. You can also get in touch any time through my office or the website.
I will let you know in a number of different ways when and where I will be, so look out for my newsletters, Twitter and Facebook feeds, my website and Cumbria Community Messaging Service. 

Dates for your diary...

3 March               Regular meeting with Allerdale Borough Council, Workington
4 March               Visit to Bay Search and Rescue
6 March               Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Board Meeting, Cockermouth
7 March               Visit to Whitehaven Foyer
8 March               Launch of Brampton Speedwatch Scheme
8 March               Attend Rickerby’s Show, Carlisle
8 March               Speaking Engagement at Newton Rigg, Penrith
10 March             Love Barrow Awards
15 March             National Crime Beats Awards
16 March             Rock Challenge, Carlisle
17 March             Cumbria  Leaders Board
17 March             South Lakeland Network Event
20 March             Dalton-in-Furness and Newtown Town Council Meeting
22 March             Installation of High Sheriff, Carlisle
27 March             Visit to Workington Academy
28 March             Speaking Engagement at Mungrisedale Church
29 March             Visit to Ullswater High School, Penrith
29 March             Speaking Event, Ladies Group, Maryport
30 March             Visit to South Lakes Foyer
31 March             Civic Event, Mayor of Allerdale, Workington
Copyright © 2017 Cumbria PCC, All rights reserved.

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Cumbria Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner · Carleton Hall · Penrith, Cma CA11 7 · United Kingdom

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