CUMBRIA is set to get £1 million in Government funding to help tackle antisocial behaviour, it has been revealed.

The county's newly elected police, fire and crime commissioner was back on the beat in Carlisle city centre this week.

Labour's David Allen, who was elected earlier this month, is a former police officer who started pounding the city centre beat in the late 1980s.

He visited the city to meet Community Beat Officers (CBOs) and to chat to residents as well as look at visible policing in action as well as to see why they do it and what they need to do more.

He said it good to be back on the beat after some years away and added: "It's been a blast from the past to be honest. It's been really nice. It's rained on me like it always used to when I was walking the town centre and this is the beat I first started walking in January 1987 when I first walked Carlisle town centre."

News and Star: David AllenDavid Allen (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Allen said that antisocial behaviour was a key issue and tackling it had been one the main parts of his election campaign. He added: "I am pleased to report that we will be tackling it and we have got some additional money from the Home Office.

"We are looking at £1 million in funding for Cumbria. There are 18 identified antisocial behaviour hotspots in Cumbria and we will be putting more resource, more visible policing into those hotspots."

In addition, he said he was hoping to increase the number officers across Cumbria. He said: "We will be looking at making sure that we keep our numbers up, we currently have more police in Cumbria than we ever have had.

"I want to make sure that they are out and about and visible and that the public see them and they interact with the public.

"Going forward in the future some of that will depend if there is a change of Government and, if there is, then the Labour party have committed to putting an additional 13,000 police officers on the street and I will be making sure that Cumbria gets its fair share of those."

News and Star: Drugs found on the M6 Cumbria Drugs found on the M6 Cumbria (Image: Newsquest)

Another issue affecting Cumbria is County Lines drug supply operations run by organised criminal gangs and he said: "County Lines is an issue everywhere in this country. I can't underestimate the damage and the blight that drugs cause on communities.

“County Lines is an issue and we do tackle it, we have Force Intelligence Bureau, we work with the Regional Organised Crime Unit to tackle this and we work on intelligence.

"I think the last 12 months have shown that we have had more seizures than ever before.

"Stop and search is a big part of the toolkit for Cumbria police. Rob Carden, the chief constable, is absolutely committed to make sure that this force does more stop and search properly than it's ever done in the past.

"That will bring dividends in terms of finding drugs, weapons, and taking them off the streets."

When asked why he felt people voted for him he said: "For a number of reasons. One, I think they were ready for a change.

"Two, quite clearly my campaign was to put more police back on the streets. Every door I knocked on people said they want to see more police to actually connect with them and talk to them. I am here today to make sure we do that.

"And thirdly, my experience as a police officer. I was a police officer for 30 years and I had a fabulous 30 years’ service and it was my turn to give it back.

"But the fact that people felt that I was a safe pair of hands and knew what I was talking about and could talk from lived experience I think that made a big difference."

Mr Allen said his short time in office had been "hectic" and he added: "There was lots to take in, lots of front loading. In my head the force, to some extent, stopped when I left it, it hasn't, obviously.

News and Star: Cumbria's PFCC David Allen out on patrol with Carlisle Police officersCumbria's PFCC David Allen out on patrol with Carlisle Police officers (Image: Newsquest)

"It's more complex, busier than it ever was and I need to bring myself up to speed on that and make sure that I can hit the ground running. But I want to take Cumbria forward, I want to make it better than the day when I walk through the door."

One of the officers he met in the city centre was Inspector Andy Leather, from Carlisle Neighbourhood Policing Team, who said: “In Carlisle, like other areas across the county, we have named police officers who are dedicated to understanding and working with our partners and communities to address issues reported to us.

“They are a visible and familiar presence within their communities engaging with members of the public, local businesses, and schools."