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Shocking new figures show the cruel cost of Conservative cuts to Cumbria’s police and our community - MP

January 28, 2019 2:08 PM

Tim with local officersLocal MP Tim Farron has warned that cuts to Cumbria's police have reached breaking point after it was revealed that over 1 in 10 officers in the county took days off work last year due to psychological disorders.

Figures obtained by BBC Radio Cumbria show that there has been a sharp rise in the number of officers taking time off because of anxiety, depression or stress, from 62 in 2015, to 112 in 2018.

Earlier this month, Tim joined local officers in the South Lakes for an 11-and-a-half-hour shift where he learned that on average there will only usually be around six officers on call during a shift to cover the entire constituency - this is in stark contrast to the start of the decade when there'd be six officers covering just Windermere and Ambleside.

As a result, officers are sent to deal with incidents on their own instead of going in pairs and therefore are put at much greater risk.

Tim said: "These new figures, while highly disturbing, are sadly no surprise.

"When I went spent a day out with officers earlier this month, I found the biggest problem that our local officers face is the majority of incidents they are called out to they have to tackle on their own. And in rural areas like ours, they often have to wait half an hour for backup to arrive.

"There can be no shying away from the fact that the Conservative government's decision to significantly cut the number of officers here in the South Lakes means our officers are more likely to be left vulnerable and at risk, meaning that members of the public are more at risk.

"With such a big number of local officers having to take time off due to stress, it feels like we're reaching breaking point - it's time for the Government to think again and reverse the cuts."