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Farron: Government must listen to watchdog cuts warning

March 2, 2017 3:42 PM

South Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has welcomed a report today by the police watchdog which has rated the County's police force as "good". However, he has warned that the government must heed the watchdog's warning about the impact of cuts.

A report today by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary into Cumbria Constabulary saw it rated as "good" for three categories - its effectiveness at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe; its effectiveness at investigating crime and reducing re-offending; and its effectiveness at tackling serious and organised crime. However, the force was told that its effectiveness at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm and supporting victims requires improvement.

However, HMIC's lead inspector Zoe Billingham warned of the "increasingly difficult circumstances" police forces face due to the "challenge of austerity", saying it had led to a "rationing of police services" and even leading to some "basic things" not being done.

Tim said: "I congratulate Cumbria Constabulary on this rating, which is an impressive achievement given the circumstances that have been faced. Here in Cumbria, our police work hard to cover a huge area and to keep our communities safe.

"However, the government must listen to the watchdog's warning that cuts are already hitting front line policing, and it is not sustainable simply to slash budgets further. Just over a year ago, we fought against disastrous plans to slash funding for Cumbria Police, and the government was forced to drop the plans. They must not try to bring these plans back.

"Cumbria Constabulary must also work to improve how it supports victims and protects those who vulnerable, such as mental health patients."