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Monday, 02 March 2015

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Cumbria police cuts ‘leading to fewer crimes solved’ - claim

A would-be MP says cuts to Cumbria’s police numbers are leading to fewer crimes being solved.

Lee Sherriff photo
Lee Sherriff

Lee Sherriff, who will stand for Labour in Carlisle at the next General Election, said they were beginning to “impact on the ground” after crime statistics showed detection rates were down.

Police chiefs, however, say the figures do not factor in methods such as restorative justice, where offenders come face-to-face with their victims.

They have also pointed to an eight per cent drop in crime in Cumbria last year.

Overall police numbers have fallen in recent years following tighter budget constraints.

Statistics show the detection rate in Cumbria in 2009/10 stood at 39.6 per cent of reported crimes. In 2011/12 it was 39.2 per cent.

Labour says the fall in the number of violent crimes against people being detected and solved is greater, registering a 5.3 per cent drop.

Miss Sherriff said: “These figures show police cuts forced on us by this government are beginning to impact on the ground.

“You don’t fight crime by cutting police and yet in Parliament that’s exactly what Tory MPs voted for.

“It’s estimated that over 100 crimes in Cumbria are being undetected due to the fall in the detection rate.

“The Tory-led government should urgently look again at the scale of the cuts they are forcing on Cumbria police.”

Chief Superintendent Don Spiller, from the county force, said: “On paper the number of crimes we have solved appear to have reduced slightly by 0.4 per cent.

“However, this figure only includes the crimes where people have been charged and appear in court, receive a criminal caution or get handed a fixed penalty ticket.

“Alongside these detections, Cumbria Constabulary has been working hard with partner agencies to reduce the number of people, particularly children, receiving criminal convictions for very minor crime.”


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