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Christmas Message from Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This year has been an extremely hard year for many of us, the pandemic has affected us all.

“We should all take a moment this festive season to remember those who have lost their lives or been very ill due to COVID-19, we should remember the families of those bereaved.

“I think it right too, that we acknowledge the tremendous challenges faced by those affected economically by the pandemic both individuals and businesses.

“Perhaps we can all do our bit to support our own local businesses and hospitality outlets, where it is safe to do so, this is a time when we do all need to stick together.

“COVID-19 has changed the way that we live our day-to-day lives and I know it has been difficult for so many.

“We’ve forfeited seeing our friends and family, hobbies, social events and much more to stay safe and I want to thank everyone for following the Government’s legislation and restrictions.

“With the vaccine now beginning to be distributed, we are heading in the right direction for life to return to normal, let us hope soon, but in the meantime it is still essential to follow any legislation that is in place at the time.

“I appreciate that ‘the rules’ have been a ‘moving feast’ and at times it has been difficult to fully understand how they affect us as individuals but I would ask that we continue to be as cautious as we can in order to allow the time for the vaccine to reach everyone who needs it.

“We’ve all had to make sacrifices for the greater good and to protect those around us from wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and working from home and this Christmas we will all be celebrating differently.

“As we meet within our three households this year please keep in mind the emergency service workers and NHS staff who have risked their health to keep us all safe all year and throughout the festive period.

“I would like to thank all Police Officers, civilian staff and PSCOs who have continuously placed themselves at risk to keep the public as safe as possible from all crime, not just COVID-19.

“I am sincerely grateful to every member of staff within Cumbria Constabulary for their dedication.
“Around this time of year, we start to put details down around our budget for the following year.

“As ever, finances remain challenging, but in the last year we have achieved so much.

“We have recruited all 51 officers designated to Cumbria in the first phase of Operation Uplift.

“Thanks to this additional as well as the extra 45 gained through council tax increase we have been able to place dedicated Police officers back in to our more rural communities: Alston, Shap, Appleby, Keswick, Ambleside, Brampton, Wigton and Millom and more to come next year.

“These deployments not only benefit the communities by dedicated officers knowing and understanding local issues and providing quicker response times, but they also benefit our more urban areas as officers no longer need to travel to these rural communities and can focus on their patch.

“Through Government bids and the use of my own budget, we have distributed over £1million across the county to support organisations, charities and communities.

“My COVID-19 Community Recovery fund provided £182,084.10 to provide support to numerous, local organisations which help prevent and tackle crime and support victims of crime, £436,994 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund to help reduce crime in the Salthouse Road area of Barrow.

“I received £140,000 from the Ministry of Justice’s Rape Support Fund which provides investment for the recruitment of an additional two Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) in Cumbria. Also, £249,482.62 from the Ministry of Justice’s Extra Ordinary Fund to support domestic abuse (DA) and sexual violence (SV) charities in Cumbria who may be struggling to keep their services running during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are incredibly fortunate in Cumbria that we have a strong community culture, there is great support for the police and I know that you will be looking out for the most vulnerable and giving them the support that they need.

“I would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year and I hope a much better 2021.”

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult year for everybody, particularly in relation the consequences the pandemic has had on daily life.

“Policing has been no different, with our officers and staff continuing to do all they can to protect communities in unprecedented circumstances.

“Our police officers, staff, PCSOs and volunteers will be working the festive period to keep people safe.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued commitment.

“I would also like to thank the public for their support and hard work throughout this difficult year.

“The support we receive from our communities is crucial to keeping people safe.

“I would encourage anyone that requires our services to please get in touch.

“I wish everyone a peaceful and safe Christmas and New Year period.”

PCC’s festive message video – https://youtu.be/StLR5kP7cbM

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