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MP asks for reassurances that Kendal Police cell closure is not permanent

November 20, 2013 2:16 PM

Tim with policeSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has said he will be writing to Cumbria's Police Commissioner after news emerged that Kendal's police cells are closed on weekdays. Tim has asked for reassurances that this temporary closure will not be made permanent.

Police officers based in Kendal are now being asked to drive arrested suspects on 70-mile round trips to Barrow on weekdays because there are not enough staff to keep the cells open in South Lakeland. But some local solicitors and campaigners fear it could become permanent. The move is a result of staff shortages caused by sickness and redundancies.

Tim last contacted the PCC in March about staffing at Kendal and was worried by the reply from a senior member of police staff: "Staffing is always under continual review to ensure demand is met with the resources available. There has been no change to staffing at Kendal. The duty inspectors are now based from Barrow police station which has seen the increase in crime. They still have operational responsibility for the South Lakes area and will respond to incidents as necessary as has always been the case."

Tim will be taking that answer back the Commissioner and asking for him to give assurances to South Lakeland residents.

Tim said: "I am writing to the Commissioner yet again and I will ask him to end all this speculation once and for all. Asking two police staff to drive arrested suspects on 70-mile round trips to Barrow on weekdays is unacceptable. We need clarity and I will fight any plans to downgrade our police station tooth and nail.

"My message to the commissioner is clear - you cannot raise the tax you ask people to pay and cut services like this. That is totally unacceptable."