Cumbria Constabulary covers the fourth largest geographic area in England & Wales but, with the exception of City of London, has the lowest population. Cumbria is predominantly rural and contains the Lake District National Park. Much of Cumbria is mountainous. The topography of Cumbria means that communities are dispersed throughout the county. It has the second lowest population density in England with 190 people per square mile and with only 1134 officers has one of the lowest numbers of police officers in the country, and 95 PCSOs.
Cumbria's largest settlement and only city is Carlisle, in the north of the county. The largest town, Barrow-in-Furness, in the south, is slightly smaller. The largest and most widespread industry in Cumbria is tourism. The Lake District National Park alone receives some 15.8 million visitors every year.
These factors combined mean that direct cost comparisons with other police forces per head of population will tend to show Cumbria’s expenditure as higher because they do increase the costs of delivery of policing services and so make finding budget savings more challenging.
In 2013/14 Cumbria Constabulary dealt with 127,507 calls for service, recorded 23,998 crimes and achieved a sanction detection rate of 38.9% (including community resolutions). The Constabulary has seen a marked reduction in both crime and anti-social behaviour since 2009/2010 (falling by 13.8% and 35.8% respectively). The Constabulary encourages victims of domestic abuse to come forward and engage with the police and other agencies that can support them. This approach has resulted in increased reporting of domestic related incidents and violence offences.
The workforce is 12% smaller than it was in 2010 to operate within a budget reduced by nearly 15%. There is a risk that potential changes to central funding will have more of an impact on Cumbria compared to other forces.
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