THE Home Secretary said she was ‘going to need the help of Conservative police and crime commissioners (PCCs)’ in her battle to keep the public safe.

In a video message, Priti Patel spoke about the recruitment of 20,000 police officers, with more than 6,000 already on the beat since 2019’s General Election.

She said: “We’ve provided tasers to police forces across the country and invested £65 million to end county line drug gangs.

“But to keep going I’m going to need the help of Conservative PCCs like Peter McCall, who is putting public safety first in Cumbria.”

Mr McCall said: “I’m delighted that I have the backing of the Home Secretary.

“Throughout the time that I have been the police and crime commissioner for Cumbria, a lot has been achieved, but there is still more work to be done. Work which I will ensure carries on if elected in May.”

Barbara Cannon and Loraine Birchall, the Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates for the PCC elections, were not available for comment.

However, on Facebook, Ms Cannon said she would ‘put victims at the heart of everything Cumbria Police does’ if elected.

“Have you ever had your home burgled? I have,” she said.

“Have you ever had something stolen from your handbag? I have.

“Have you ever had your car vandalised? I have.

“Have you ever been assaulted on the street? I have.

“Many people have been victims of crime and they all know how upsetting it is.

“Despite a very recent updating of the help given to victims of crime, it is not enough.

“We need a new victims’ law.

“It is very important that victims of crime are given a strong voice.”

She said: “This election is a choice between a Labour candidate who is serious about tackling the Tory rise in violent crime or the Conservatives, who have slashed police numbers and let violent crime rise here and across the country.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Loraine Birchall said previously: “For too long, Conservative Government promises of more police in Cumbria haven’t led to the officer numbers we need.

“As a result our local communities feel left behind, with no-one to tackle rural crime or anti-social behaviour.

“I’m determined to fight tooth and nail for Cumbria and to keep our communities safe.”

Ms Birchall’s aims include having a named police officer for every ward and creating a dedicated rural crime unit to tackle farm theft and wildlife crime.

The election is on May 6.