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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria's shocking sex attack figures in spotlight

A report which revealed high levels of sexual violence in Cumbria will be discussed by councillors this week.

Recent figures showed that more than 5,000 women and girls were victims of sexual violence in the county in just one year, with another 10,000 feared to have been attacked by close family members.

The figures came from a report which also showed more than 6,400 incidents of domestic violence were reported to Cumbria Police last year.

A proposed blueprint aimed at reducing crime and disorder in the Carlisle area is due to be examined in detail on Thursday.

The Carlisle and Eden Community and Safety Partnership (CSP) has developed its draft partnership plan for 2013/14 which highlights key target areas.

It will be investigated by Carlisle City Council’s Community and Overview Scrutiny Panel at Victory Hall, Dalston, at 10am.

Key priorities which have been outlined include:

  • anti-social behaviour
  • violent crime
  • reduce harm through the misuse of drugs
  • impact of alcohol misuse
  • domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • reduce re-offending.

Jessica Riddle, the city council’s communities and housing portfolio holder, said the figures for incidents of sexual and domestic violence were “worrying”.

She said: “There will also be more emphasis on alcohol misuse as well as preventing harm in young people through drugs.

“Domestic abuse was always a priority but sexual violence has been added to it.

“That task group will be looking at domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

The report will also be reviewed by a scrutiny committee at Eden Council.

Mrs Riddle said: “It’s very much a work in progress. The police give us the information and it could be developed over the year.”

In a report by Keith Gerrard, the council’s director of community engagement, he said: “This plan forms part of the city council’s policy framework and refreshes the existing plan.”

He added that it effectively presented the partnership’s work programme for the next 12 months as part of its partnership plan.

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