‘Policing has changed a lot during the pandemic’.

That was the message from Roger Marshall, joint chief finance officer for both Cumbria Constabulary and the office of the county's police and crime commissioner, while updating the police and crime panel at Cumbria County Council.

Mr Marshall said: "There have been additional costs of investing in home working and policing in the pandemic.

“But we also have not had to pay out as much on training, transport and fuel, as policing has changed a lot in the pandemic.

He said the cost of purchasing personal protective equipment had 'impacted negatively' on the budget but added the Government had reimbursed a lot of the additional costs.

Mr Marshall said: “The Police and Crime Commission incurred an overspend of £304,000 which includes the running of the estates and additional cleaning costs because of the pandemic.

"There was also £122,000 overspend on the police."

Councillor Roger Bingham, who represents Lower Kentdale, was concerned that training costs were down.

He said training is something the county could ill afford to economise on.

"The nature is changing in policing," he said. "I know its no longer ‘a fair cop’ and all that, so training should continue despite the pandemic.”

Mr Marshall also advised that the budget would see in new recruits and that targets would be met.

He said: “Once operation uplift is completed, the full police force for Cumbria will total 1,331 officers by March 2023.

"Training for them will be classroom and hands-on, but some of the hands-on training will be affected by social distancing rules, so once again policing has changed because of this pandemic.”