Thursday, 23 December 2010

Latest crime figures for Barrow

The graph below shows the overall downward trend of crime reports in Barrow over the last 12 months (December 2009-November 2010 inclusive)
The grey columns are aligned to the left-hand vertical axis.  They represent the overall number of crimes recorded in Barrow during each month shown on the chart.  The red line is aligned to the right-hand vertical axis and represents the twelve-month rolling total for Barrow over the same period.
An upward gradient in the red line indicates that offences are consistently rising over the 12 month period.  A downward gradient indicates that offences are consistently falling over the 12 month period.  Little or no gradient in the red line indicates that results are remaining more or less on a par.


The graph below shows the number of each of the different types of offences from December 2009-November 2010 inclusive.
If you add all the columns together it would represent 100% of the crimes committed.  Looking at where the red line starts on the tallest column, you can see that 'Damage to vehicles' is the most common type of crime, accounting for almost 15% of crimes in the last 12 months.  The next most common is 'assault with less serious injury' accounting for a little over 10% of all recorded crime over the last year. 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cumbria Constabulary explain how they will manage their "substantially reduced" budget

Cumbria Police Authority and Constabulary face budget cuts of £18.6million following an announcement by the Government last week on the details of the grant settlement.

The Constabulary received precise figures for the grant settlement for the next two years (2011/12 and 2012/13) with a further two years worth of indicative figures provided (2013/14 and 2014/15). This still creates a level of uncertainty from 2013/14 until detailed budget figures become available.
The Constabulary has been working on a programme of work to reduce costs with some work completed, other work in progress and more cuts to be identified.

Chief Constable Craig Mackey said: “This is a challenging settlement for Cumbria. The Constabulary will have to operate with a substantially reduced budget over the next four years.
The Constabulary will have to reduce its budget by £18.6million over the next four years. This is a 20% budget cut in real terms which effectively means that the overall organisation needs to shrink by a fifth. The scale of a budget cut of this size is much larger than simply reducing support functions in fact the total cost of running all support functions (for example: Finance and Resources, Personnel and Development, ICT, Legal, Marketing and Comms) doesn’t meet the required budget cut.
“The Police Authority and the Constabulary have been undertaking detailed preparation in recent months so that we can meet these challenges. It is without question the shape and structure of Cumbria Constabulary will have to change significantly, however, our priority remains keeping Cumbria a safe place to live, work and visit.
“Cumbria Constabulary is firmly committed to maintaining visible policing in local communities. However, the total number of police officers will fall to 1,150 by September 2011. This will be a reduction of 100 officers from our position in 2009/10. Some officers will be moved from support functions to frontline policing. We have reduced the number of senior and middle management roles. The overall reduction in the number of officers will be achieved through natural wastage.
“The Constabulary is constantly reviewing the way it works and there are some changes to working practices that are freeing up officer time that will significantly help bridge the changes. These include; the re-structuring of the way that the Constabulary deals with urgent and community calls, increasing the use of mobile working where officers can benefit from direct access to computer systems while in the community, streamlining management structures and reducing bureaucracy by removing processes such as completing a paper audit when undertaking stops and searches.
We have listened to the feedback that we receive about PCSOs and the impact that they have on your community. For the next two years the numbers of PCSOs in our communities will remain at 105.
“The police staff establishment will drop to 600 by March 2012 - a reduction of 235 posts from March 2010. Work has been taking place for some time to identify how we can reduce the number of police staff posts, with 20 redundancies having already taken place. There are a number of consultations currently underway with staff and there will be a further 140 posts lost in 2011/12 (based on the equivalent of an average salary). The Constabulary, where possible, works with staff to progress voluntary redundancy. At risk staff have also been re-deployed into compatible essential roles that have become available following the external recruitment freeze. However, re-deployment is not always possible and compulsory redundancy will continue to be used.
The total savings forecast as required for 2011/12 are £7.5 million and, given the work that has already been identified, we expect to be able to balance the budget by a combination of budget cuts and by recycling the savings made in this financial year (2010/11). For the following three years we have also, to date, identified significant savings but will need to find a further £13.1 million, after adjusting for the use of savings from 2010/11.
“Work has already started to identify these savings in the following ways: a review of the estate and front counter services is taking place and will explore opportunities to work with partner agencies; our vehicle budget will reduce by 30%; our ICT budget and Programme Management Unit costs will reduce by £2.75million and we will look at reducing management tiers and directorates across all support departments.
“These are without doubt challenging times but we are firmly committed to providing the communities of Cumbria with an affordable and realistic policing service. It is by working together that the Constabulary, partners and local communities can ensure that crime and disorder remains at the low levels we have experienced in recent years.”

Ray Cole at recent public event
Police Authority Chair Ray Cole said: “Cumbria Police Authority along with all police authorities have received a difficult grant settlement and now must face the harsh reality of agreeing with the Constabulary a balanced budget for 2011/12 and following years.
Cumbria is a safe place to live with crime at some of the lowest levels in the UK and we must ensure that this continues, despite the reduction in staff and officers. It is encouraging to see the work that the Constabulary is undertaking to minimise the impact of these losses by restructuring and maximising the use of technology.”


Domestic violence claims the lives of two women a week

Cumbria Constabulary is targeting victims of domestic violence in an awareness raising campaign launched today, to encourage them to seek help and take steps to ensure they can enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.


Police officers around the county will be distributing impactive posters amongst communities over the festive period to raise awareness of domestic violence and highlight the support that is available for victims in Cumbria.

The campaign is designed to make people stop and think about domestic violence and highlight the hard work that goes on all year round to identify those at risk and protect them and their families.

Dedicated teams of police officers, alongside partner agencies, actively monitor and target domestic violence perpetrators through intelligence led operations that run consistently throughout the year. Specially trained officers are posted all around the county to respond to incidents of domestic violence and wear fitted head cams wherever possible to ensure that evidence is gathered at the earliest opportunity.

It is hoped that the hard hitting poster campaign will open the eyes of families and friends of suspected victims to encourage them to speak out and report their suspicions to police.

In 2009, officers responded to 5608 reports of domestic violence in Cumbria compared to 5300 incidents in 2008. 77 per cent of the incidents that went to court in 2009 resulted in a conviction. Between January and November 2010, police have attended 5642 incidents of domestic violence across the county. This significant rise in numbers is due to the fact that every single operational police officer has received training in how to identify, risk assess and deal with domestic abuse incidents.

Domestic violence is traditionally under reported with only around 35 per cent of incidents disclosed to police so officers hope to see a rise in the number of crimes reported to them over the festive season.

The Detective Superintendent who leads the County’s Public Protection Unit, Andy Slattery, said: “It is a sad fact that domestic abuse rises over Christmas as tensions can often run high, families get together and lots of alcohol is consumed.
“Because domestic abuse is under-reported, any rise in the number of cases has a positive side as it means more victims have the courage and confidence to come forward. We aim to increase reporting but in doing so we strive to reduce the level of seriousness of incidents and reduce the number of repeated incidents in high risk cases.
“This important campaign is designed to bring the issue of domestic violence to the forefront of our minds. Work goes on throughout the year to protect victims of domestic abuse who feel trapped within a cycle of abuse and with the help of partner agencies, we put support measures in place to help victims in Cumbria take the important steps to break this cycle and stop living in fear.
“Inbuilt panic alarms, counselling and other practical support is available but victims need the confidence to confide in someone, or make one phone call to police so that we can help. We support victims throughout the process – from the initial report they make to police right through to court and subsequent prosecutions.
“Most people look forward to Christmas but for victims of abuse, it can be a desperate time. People have the right to enjoy the festive season safely and free of violence of any sort – at home or out and about in our communities.
We absolutely will not tolerate abuse in Cumbria and we hope that victims have the confidence to speak out and report it. We hope that this campaign encourages all victims - male and female - and those who witness incidents of domestic violence, to come forward so we can take action and help keep people safe.
Domestic abusers are cowards. They inflict pain and suffering on those closest to them who are least likely to report to the police. The message from us is clear; we can and will support victims to escape the abusive and controlling behaviour they endure at the hands of their partners.
“Anyone who thinks that they are above the law and have the right to abuse others should know that we are out there and will come down hard on you. You will be caught and brought to justice.”

Anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence or has any information regarding incidents is urged to contact any Police Officer or call Cumbria Police on 0845 33 00 247.
You can also report information online (always ring 999 in an emergency) at http://www.notinmyhome.co.uk/ .  This can be about yourself, a neighbour or someone you know.  There is the option to remain anonymous if you wish.  You will be given a reference number that identifies the information you have provided.  You can use this number to report further incidents or provide further information without revealing your identity.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Do you have questions about how budget cuts will affect Cumbria Police?

Cumbria Police Authority will be holding Police Community Liaison Forum Meetings in January 2011, in the Barrow and Kendal areas, focussing on the projected Police budget deficit in 2011-12 and the four-year period to 2014-15.

Cumbria Police Authority would like to invite members of the community to attend a Police Community Liaison Forum Meeting to be held on Tuesday 4th Janaury 2011, 7.30pm at Kendal County Offices, and Thursday 13th January 2011, 7:00pm, in the Studio at Forum 28, Barrow.

Douglas Thomas, Cumbria Police Authority’s Treasurer, will provide information on the projected Police budget deficit, and the implications for Cumbria Constabulary.

Ray Cole, Cumbria Police Authority’s Chair, said: “Cumbria Police Authority are the Governing body for the Constabulary, we have a statutory duty to engage and find out the views from people within our communities. The Communilty Liaison Forums will provide the opportunity to discuss future budget implications, and to inform the public on what this actually means for Cumbria’s Policing service.

There will have to be some tough decisions made regarding the future Police budget, which will mean extremely demanding times ahead for Cumbria Constabulary”

For more information about Cumbria Polic Authority log on to: http://www.cumbriapoliceauthority.org.uk/

Man charged with attempted murder in Cleator Moor

A 36 year old man from Cleator Moor has been charged with the attempted murder of a twenty nine year old woman from the same area.


David Heslop of no fixed abode but who resides in Cleator Moor, has been charged with attempted murder, affray and two counts of breaching a restraining order.

He appeared in West Allerdale and Keswick Magistrates Court on 18 December where he was remanded in custody to appear in Carlisle Crown on 4 January 2011.

The victim remains in West Cumberland Hospital in a stable condition after suffering multiple stab wounds

POLICE APPEAL – WANTED ON RECALL TO PRISON

Gwent Police is appealing for information to locate a Caldicot man who was recalled to prison after breaching his licence.

Officers now have age progression images of Keith Turner which experts have produced in a bid to assist with efforts to trace him.

On 23rd September 2000 the 57 year old failed to appear at Reading Crown Court and a warrant was issued by the court for his arrest. He was due to appear after being charged, by Thames Valley Police, with an alleged offence of attempting to obtain property by deception by falsely issuing four cheques to the total value of £11781.46, between 20th – 24th of January 2000.

Following his failure to appear the Home Office revoked his licence and he was recalled to prison.

Keith Turner had been on life licence since his release from prison on 29th March 1993, having served 19 years.

He had been serving a life sentence after being convicted of the manslaughter of his mother and sister (who died in November 1973) at Newcastle Crown Court on 19th February 1975. Following his release from prison he moved to the Caldicot area in 1998 after spending a period of time in the Bristol area.

Members of the Gwent Police Major Incident team are now reviewing his case and although he is still circulated as wanted to all police forces across the UK former associates of his have been revisited and it’s hoped that the age progression photos, demonstrating what he may look like today, will assist in tracing him even if he has given himself a new identity.

He is described as approximately 5’7” tall with blue eyes and a northern accent. At the time of disappearance he had balding grey hair, a thin beard and wore glasses.

He has ‘KEITH’ tattooed on his right forearm.

At the time of his disappearance he had lost weight due to an alleged illness, but prior to this he was of medium build.

Keith Turner is originally from the Newcastle area but following enquiries we know that he has also frequented/ has contacts in Birmingham, Reading and Slough, Bristol, Caldicot, Spain, South Africa and France.

He has been, and remains, circulated as wanted on the police national computer (PNC) since 2000 and enquiries have also been made on an international basis to locate him.

Anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call Gwent Police on 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Police investigate attempted murder in Cleator Moor

A man from Cleator Moor has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a woman was stabbed in her house in the town last night.
Detectives in West Cumbria have launched an investigation after they were called to a property on Robert Owen Avenue in Cleator Moor last night. On attending at 6.42pm, police found a 29 year old local woman with serious stab wounds within the property. Ambulance crews attended and took the woman to West Cumberland Hospital where she remains in a stable condition in Intensive Care.
A 36 year old man from Cleator Moor was arrested at the property last night on suspicion of attempted murder. He remains in police custody for questioning this morning.
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident at this time.

Who are Shelter and what do they do?

December 2010


Over £25,000 secured for Shelter service users in the past year

The Shelter Tenancy Support Team has helped individuals and families become better off by bringing in over £25,000 across the service. This amount is made up of the benefits we have helped individuals access, tax credits they didn’t know they were entitled to, and hardship grants awarded. For example, we have secured £3570 in grants alone from the United Utility Trust Fund in the last year. This Trust Fund is in place to assist people who have got into debt or are experiencing other hardship. United Utilities Trust Fund will work with us to assist individuals in getting out of debt and avoiding similar hardship in the future.

When individuals access our tenancy support service, we carry out a thorough assessment of their needs. This will include assessing their finances to ensure they are accessing the money they are entitled to. We will then look at developing a budgeting plan, setting up affordable payment plans with utility companies, assisting with finding the best tariff for their energy, helping with benefit and social fund applications, etc. The aim of our project is for our service users to be able to manage their tenancy and finances independently and avoid getting trapped by high interest loans, debt and bailiff action.

We now also have a specialist Debt Advisor who can assist individuals with reducing their debt, reducing their weekly payments and reducing or removing charges.

All of these services can be accessed by contacting 0344 515 1945.

Case Study
Beth (name changed) came for support from the project before her partner was sent to prison. She was working 10 hours a week and not in receipt of benefits. Beth also had a 7 month old child. Beth’s partner had dealt with the finances before he went to prison, and she was not sure where to start with paying her bills. We applied for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Child Tax Credit; these were all awarded. Beth was also unsure about whether she could afford to visit her partner in prison, we helped her access the “Assisted Prison Visit” fund. Beth then increased her working hours to 16 hours a week. We were able to apply for Working Tax Credit to assist with the nursery costs and increase Beth’s income. Over the space of the year she will be £15416.96 better off than before she accessed our service. We helped Beth set up manageable payment plans for her utility bills and formulated budget plans with her, she is now at a stage where she feels that she can manage her finances and tenancy independently.

You can seek help from the Shelter team at:
Shelter
226 Dalton Road
Barrow in Furness
Cumbria
LA14 1PN
Email: cumbria@shelter.org.uk
Or contact 0344 515 1945 for more information.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

West Bromwich man forced to repay over £42k following Cumbrian drugs investigation

A West Bromwich man was ordered to repay over £42,000 today in a Proceeds of Crime Act Hearing.
27 year old Malvinder Singh Dhanjal of Kenelms Close, West Bromwich, appeared before Judge Recorder Noble at Carlisle Crown Court today where he was found to have benefitted from criminal activity to the tune of £128,755.71. He was ordered to repay £42,020.75 within four months, or face a further twelve months in prison.

A Cumbria Constabulary investigation into Dhanjal was launched earlier this year after police officers stopped him in his vehicle on the M6 during a routine stop check. He was found to have £37,000 cash on his person. Following the discovery, West Midlands police carried out a search of his home and uncovered a cannabis farm.

A generic picture of cannabis plants - unconnected to this case
He was convicted on 14th July 2010 for the production and supply of cannabis and money laundering. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment. An investigation then began into his criminally gained assets by financial investigators from Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

Today, Recorder Noble ordered that Dhanjal had benefitted from his criminal activity by £128,755.71 and he must pay back £42,020.75 made through this criminal activity within four months.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob O’Connor said: "Confiscation Orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act should send out a clear message to criminals - you will have your ill-gotten gains taken from you.
“Cumbria Constabulary has a financial investigation team whose work begins when criminals get put behind bars. They work hard to uncover how offenders have financially benefitted from crime so that it can be recovered and put back into the community.
“Today’s court proceedings show that criminals pay for their crimes in more ways than one. As well as serving time in prison, they have to pay a significant financial penalty which can strip them of their homes, cars and other assets.
“Dhanjal has four months to pay up and it is likely that he will have to sell off property in order to pay his substantial debt. If he fails to pay within four months he will face a further twelve months in prison – and he will still owe the money when he comes out of jail.
“I hope this deters any potential offenders who may be thinking that a criminal lifestyle can be lucrative. This case shows that we don’t stop pursuing criminals when they are behind bars – we make sure that we hit them where it hurts which is their lifestyles and wallets.”

Barrow traders praised by trading standards

Cumbria Trading Standards and Cumbria police have praised off-licenses in Barrow after all seven visited successfully passed an undercover test purchase exercise last week.

The exercise was carried out by trading standards officers and local police on Friday 10 December, and 7 premises were visited with all of them refusing to serve alcohol to the 15-year-old undercover volunteer.

Angela Jones, Cumbria Trading Standards manager, said: "I'm pleased with the results of Friday night’s operation which is part of our crack-down on underage alcohol sales in the Christmas period."
"Our staff work closely with traders to ensure compliance with the law throughout the year and these undercover checks form a vital part of ensuring compliance. In this case give a true reflection of the necessary diligence which needs to be demonstrated with regard to the retail sale of alcohol."

Sgt Ian McClymont of Cumbria police said: "It is clear that communities feel strongly about alcohol related anti social behaviour. We will continue to work closely with Cumbria Trading Standards and other partners to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
"The results from this operation are pleasing to see, and suggest that by working with the owners of off licences, we can reduce the opportunities for young people to purchase alcohol. This type of operation has contributed towards the continued reduction of anti social behaviour in Barrow."

Anyone with any information regarding the possible supply of alcohol to underage people can let Cumbria Trading Standards know by contacting Consumer Direct on 0845 40 40 506.

What is MARAC and what has it to do with Domestic Violence?

MARAC stands for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference and it is the way in which we best help those most at risk from domestic violence.  Most areas (but unfortunately not all) across the country have MARACs.
Each month partners from a wide variety of agencies meet to discuss how collectively they can best protect the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence across South Cumbria.
There are two MARAC co-ordinators for Cumbria and they co-ordinate monthly meetings in each of the 3 areas of the county.
Domestic violence is often a crime that victims experience over and over again - they are continual REPEAT victims.  The MARAC process has brought about positive change for many women (and a small number of men) who have suffered domestic abuse.  The number of victims who present as REPEAT cases to MARAC is much lower than the repeat rate in general (and this rate continues to fall).  The MARAC process has ended the violence for many women and they have ceased to be REPEAT victims.

On Monday of this week a number of organisations and agencies from across South Cumbria attended a MARAC training session.  This will mean that many more individuals, agencies and organisations are aware of the MARAC process and most importantly, are able to refer women (and men) suffering domestic violence to the service.
Delegates during a group session

Delegates considering the process of referring women to MARAC

Sarah-Jane Prior, MARAC co-ordinator, checks on delegates' progress



Detective Inspector Dave Banks chairs the South Cumbria MARAC and said "Domestic violence remains under-reported, but is a high priority for partners because of the potential serious harm to victims, who can be women, men and children. I want to reassure everyone that reports will always be treated seriously by police and partners. I am delighted that such a wide range of partners have attended today to find out more about the MARAC process and hope they will now feel confident to make a referral.

Don't spend tonight behind police bars!

Support over the Christmas period

Listed below are organisations who, along with the Housing Service, offer advice and support to anyone in need – especially over the Christmas period.

Barrow Borough Council
Housing Support Service. If you feel you require housing related support or assistance during the Christmas period, ring and speak to our Housing Support Officer, Simone Singleton on 01229 876580 during office hours. Should you have a housing emergency when the Housing Office is closed, please call the out-of-hours number 01229 833311.
Salvation Army
Normal Opening times: Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 3pm and Friday 9.30am – 2pm. Closed for Christmas from 17 December 2010 to 5 January 2011. For those in genuine need food parcels can be requested from the Salvation Army over the Christmas period. When closed, phone messages can be left. Someone will respond within 24 hours. If you would like further information, please ring Major Millar on 01229 433550.

Mind-in-Furness
For people with mental health problems, Mind-in-Furness have a drop-in-centre where people are welcome to visit to relax and chat to other people with similar problems. The drop-in-centre is based at 64 School Street, Barrow. Normal opening hours are 10am-4pm. They will be closed over the Christmas period on 25, 26, 27 and 28 December 2010 and 3 January 2011. For further details call 01229 827094.

Furness Homeless Support Group.
Christmas Shelter, 27 Bath Street, Barrow.
Opening times: Christmas Eve 10am – 3pm. Christmas Day and Boxing Day 11am – 6pm. 27 to 31 December 2010 10am – 2pm. Closed New Years Day. For further details call 01229 821134.

Samaritans
Call 08457 909090 any time of the day or night and speak to someone who has time to listen.

Project John
Office opens 12noon-2pm from 28 to 31 December 2010. Normal opening hours (9am to 4.30pm) from 4 January 2011. If you have any queries please call 01229 832127.

Film competition for local young people

Signal Films are currently organising a two day youth media festival with a group of young people and as part of this they have set up a film competition for local young people to get involved in.....are YOU interested?
Information on the competition is on the poster below and the deadline isn't until 19th January so plenty of time to sign up........




Snow heads for Barrow....police ask us to take care


Picture courtsey of Graham Bromley, Green Heart Den

Local communities are being urged to look out for one another and take extra care as a second band of icy and snowy conditions heads towards Cumbria.


Temperatures are forecast to drop significantly over coming days, which could lead to treacherous road conditions and black ice.

Police are urging communities to prepare in advance, drive to the conditions and look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours. Pavements are just as susceptible to freezing as roads, so take care when walking as well as when driving.

Officers are also warning people to stay off frozen ponds, rivers and lakes, and to make sure pets do not go out on the ice.

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Tune in to your local BBC Radio station to keep up to date with road and school closures and other community issues: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cumbria/hi/

You can also contact the Cumbria Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609.

Safety advice for motorists
• Plan your journey in advance:
• Check local and national weather forecasts and tune into local radio stations to check on road conditions and closures
• Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive and ensure you have a charged mobile phone with you
• Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade
• Clear your windows and mirrors fully before you set off and carry a screen scraper and de-icer

If you have an accident, break-down or become stuck in bad weather conditions:
• Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
• On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the emergency services and breakdown recovery services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder
• If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you

Vehicle maintenance:
• Keep lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow – remember also to clear your vehicle roof of compacted snow in case it dislodges while you drive, as this could be dangerous to other road users
• Keep your battery fully charged
• Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer
• Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
• Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure. Consider changing to high performance winter tyres.

Drive according to weather conditions:
• Allow extra time and distance to brake as it can take ten times longer to stop in wet or icy conditions
• Adapt your driving behaviour. Keep in mind the decreased visibility and changing road conditions.
• Slow down and avoid sudden or jerky movements
• When driving on ice or snow use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
• To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
• Be wary of satellite navigation systems as they tend to direct you over high rural roads that are likely to be closed or particularly hazardous in winter
• Do not assume that pedestrians have seen you. They may be elderly, young or not be able to hear you
• Do not attempt to cross flooded roads if the water seems too deep
• Drive slowly through water in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch - this will stop you from stalling
• Test your brakes when you have driven through a flood before you drive again at normal speed

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Keep it cool this Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has started and as the party season gets into full flow, Cumbria police are urging revellers to keep hold of their senses as they crack down on alcohol and drug-related violence and disorder over the festive period.

Officers are strengthening their police patrols in busy town centres over the coming weeks to focus on defusing incidents before they escalate into violence.

Proactive policing operations will be held across the county to help stop violent incidents from starting and to provide a visible, reassuring presence to law abiding partygoers. Officers will also be working closely with licensed premises to try and prevent people who are already drunk being served more alcohol.

The patrols and targeted operations will focus around ‘Festive Friday’ celebrations –traditionally the Friday before Christmas – which is renowned as one of the busiest nights of the year for pubs and clubs across the county.

Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham, who is responsible for Neighbourhood Policing in Cumbria added his support to the campaign by saying:
“Our campaign has been launched to try to send a clear message to partygoers – please have fun and enjoy all your celebrations, but don’t lose control of your senses and end up spending your Christmas in the cells with us.
“Traditionally, pubs and clubs get very busy across the county during the festive season as crowds who don’t go out regularly attend more social events and parties, and drink a lot more alcohol than they would throughout the rest of the year.
“Previous experience has shown us that a minority of people take these celebrations too far and drink more alcohol than they can handle, losing their inhibitions and letting their emotions run high.
“We are asking people to take this into account and take a step back if they feel that a situation is becoming heated, before violence erupts.
“Police officers are trained to diffuse situations and we will be stepping in early to stop incidents escalating. We want people to enjoy a ‘merry’ Christmas, but don’t go too far and end up spending a Christmas behind bars and begin 2011 with a criminal record.”


Barrow’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be using tactics from their successful Operation Siskin, which sees officers working closely with pubs, clubs and bars to tackle excessive alcohol consumption, prevent underage sales and reduce alcohol related offences. To do this they will team up with Trading Standards to carry out test purchases and uncover licensed premises that are failing to check the age of their young customers.

Officers have also teamed up with Furness College to raise awareness of the anti-violence campaign to young people and will display impactive images that the young people have designed to highlight the issue of violence on Barrow’s ‘eye’.

To support the operations, police officers have been displaying posters around the county to highlight their anti-violence safety messages to highlight the link between drinking alcohol and getting involved in violent incidents in the hope that it will prompt people to drink sensibly and stay safe this Christmas.

These messages will also be distributed to revellers’ mobile phones via a Bluetooth device in busy town centre hotspots and the posters will be projected onto buildings in Barrow and Carlisle.

Pocket sized top tips will also be handed out by officers on patrols to remind people about how they can stay safe:
• Plan your night out, let someone know where you are going & when you will be home.
• Carry a charged mobile phone & put a trusted taxi number in your contacts.
• Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know or don’t trust.
• Keep your drink with you at all times, if it looks or tastes suspicious don’t drink it.
• Watch out for your friends & make sure they get home safely.
• Don’t walk alone after dark - plan ahead.
• Avoid taking short cuts, keep to well-lit main streets.
• Never accept lifts from strangers or unregistered taxis.
• Drink responsibly; binge drinking makes you more vulnerable.

Fraudsters ordered to repay over £1million following Cumbrian investigation

Four Luton fraudsters have been ordered to repay over £1million after a large scale Cumbrian investigation uncovered a £2million nationwide fraud.

The four men, Adil Khan, Faisal Khan, Azhar Mahmood and Zulfiqar Ali were ordered by Crown Court Judge in a Proceeds of Crime hearing last month to repay a total of £1,015,711.70 within six months or they will face a default sentence of four years.

The hearing stemmed from an investigation by South Cumbrian detectives after a Barrow woman reported a potential fraud to officers in December 2006. An in-depth financial investigation began and found that over 90 victims from around the country and as far as India and Australia had their credit cards cloned to pay a number of mortgages on several Luton properties.

Cumbria’s Financial Investigators charged the two brothers, Adil Khan and Faisal Khan, with money laundering offences in April 2007. A third brother, Zulfiqar Ali, was later charged along with their associate, Azhar Mahmood, with money laundering offences in August 2007. In September 2007, the Khan brothers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to three years imprisonment.

In September 2008, Azhar Mahmood and Zulfiqar Ali pleaded guilty and were sentenced to one and a half years and three and a half years consecutively.

During the Proceeds of Crime Hearing, the Judge found the men to have benefited from their criminality to the tune of £2,270,437.10. They must pay back a total of £1,015,711.70 within six months or face four year jail sentence.

DC Cath Rogerson, a financial investigator that led the complex investigation said: "This was a mammoth investigation that started with a woman from Barrow reporting a credit card fraud of just £1,400.
“The scale of the investigation led to us tracing 90 victims though out the UK and abroad who had had their bank cards cloned to make fraudulent payments on a number of properties based in Luton that were owned by the four defendants.
“One of the defendants was also spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of his innocent victim’s cash in casinos which shows the scale of the lucrative set up.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Forrester who heads up South Cumbria CID said: “This proceeds of crime hearing demonstrates to criminals and our local community that an offender’s punishment doesn’t end when they get put behind bars. The reason that criminals get involved in crimes like this is for the financial gain – and stripping them of their cash and assets is what hurts them most.
“We have dedicated officers who work to uncover complex frauds like this and I’d like to thank them for their hard work and commitment which has led to the four men being brought to justice on behalf of the 90 victims across the globe.”

Monday, 13 December 2010

Cumbrian detectives seek man in connection with £14M cocaine seizure

Detectives in Cumbria want to speak to the man below in connection with the importation of £14 Million worth of Cocaine into the UK in early 2008.


Peter William Bradshaw, 30, is known to frequent the Kensington, West Derby and Prescott areas of Liverpool.

Police want to speak to him in connection with an ongoing investigation codenamed Operation Addington. On Saturday 3 May 2008 Cumbria Police, working alongside HM Revenue and Customs, seized 105kg of cocaine from two vehicles at Harwich docks in Essex. The drugs were concealed inside pieces of furniture. They had a street value of around £14 Million.

Seven men have been convicted and sentenced in connection with this operation, but investigations are ongoing.

If you have seen Bradshaw, or know of his whereabouts, contact Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit on 0845 33 00 247, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Beer mats and posters for our Christmas campaign designed by Furnes College students

Me & Sgt Ian McClymont visited students at Furness College way back in October to ask for their help with our Christmas campaign. Each year the police, Barrow CDRP and a number of other agencies across the town look to ensure the people of the borough of Barrow-in-Furness have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.  This year, once again, we asked the college for their help with this.


The students were asked to create designs that could appear on posters and beer mats and be displayed in pubs and clubs around the town.

The students were given a few facts and figures to prompt their creative thinking and they asked some insightful questions in response.
We asked the students if any of them used ecstasy, cocaine, etc? No-one put up their hand!
We then asked, “Does anyone use alcohol?” and most of the room put their hand in the air, including the tutor!

Some facts…….
Over 90% of the population drink
Deaths related to alcohol have tripled over the last 20 years
And those who die are dying younger

In 2006 there were the following drug related deaths in England/Wales.....Ecstasy……..48
Solvents………47
Cocaine……190
Heroin/morphine…..713
Alcohol……..40,000

In Cumbria we drink more than the regional and national average
We have a ‘drinking culture’
If anyone thinks that alcohol related deaths are about old men on park benched then think again…..
In 2008 in Cumbria, a 19 year old woman died of liver cirrhosis – she had been drinking alcohol regularly since she was 12 years old.
The revelation of this particular fact prompted some sharp intakes of breath as it made alcohol related death something which concerned the young people in the room.

Between 12 midnight and 5am, up to 70% of A&E attendances and ambulance costs are alcohol related…..students wondered what else this money could be spent on.

Sgt McClymont then relayed some of his encounters with revellers in the night time economy, some of which raised a few laughs and smiles but which also contained some real life reminders of the consequences of drinking too much.

What is alcohol?
Alcohol is a depressant drug – first it depresses our inhibitions, then our reasoning, next our judgement and finally our self-control. These are the things that normally keep us safe. When someone knocks in to us and then apologises we say OK…..when we’ve have a few drinks and our inhibitions and reasoning are ‘depressed’ we might punch the culprit as they should have looked where they were going! Normally we wouldn’t dance on tables or on the lap of our boss….after a few drinks our judgement is affected and we might think our boss is after just that!

In conclusion…..
People now use alcohol for oblivion rather than just celebration. It is not just used as a social tool; it’s a mechanism for blanking out.

Young people now often report that they cannot enjoy themselves without alcohol.

In Cumbria, alcohol is involved in the following…..
62% of head injuries
26% of drownings
39% of deaths in fires
15% of RTAs
50% of DV (national average is 40%)
50% of street crime
863,000 hospital admissions in 2008 (that equates to a 50% increase over the last 5 years)

We need to change the culture about how we view alcohol. And this is what we asked the students to help us do!!!

We asked them to create a slogan and an image that captures this, and that was Christmas specific.
We went back to the college to review the designs and talk to the students about the thinking behind what they had created.

Members of Barwatch once again kindly helped us to select the winning designs that will feature on beer mats and posters in their pubs this Christmas.

The 6 winners each received a £25 voucher for all their efforts and we left some chocolates for all those who took part to enjoy....I'm not sure if their tutor shared them though!


OFSTED are in the college this week and will hopefully see this one example of how the young people in our town make a significant contribution to their community.

All the designs will be shown on The Eye (the large projector coming from the police station projecting images on to Furness House opposite) from this weekend and on the screen in the town hall reception.

Sgt McClymont said, “the winning designs clearly demonstrate that the young people have an understanding of how alcohol can ruin lives.
The messages on the posters clearly reflect the wishes of the majority of people who want to enjoy a drink over the festive period, and have a safe and violence free Xmas”.
The standard is very impressive. The students should be very proud of themselves. We are very grateful for all their help and hard work which is self evident in the high standard of work they produced."
Dave Coverdale, Chair of Barrow CDRP and Locality Manager for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service had the following to say:

"In the first half of this year violence in and around licensed premises reduced by around 50% when compared with the previous year. The contribution the college students have made to our campaigns are significant in helping us to achieve these reductions.
The Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, which consists of many agencies around the town, including the police, are very pleased to be associated with Furness College and its staff and students. The students are a credit to our community and we take every opportunity to acknowledge that and show our appreciation for their support in making our communities safer and stronger. If they are representative of our next generation then I think Barrow will go from strength to strength."


Barwatch members (licensees of local pubs and clubs) who helped to judge the winners were impressed the high standard of the material produced. They said they were brilliant and were impressed that local students were becoming involved in the community in this way.

They also wanted me to include the following reminder:
"Please don’t encourage anyone underage to drink alcohol in our pubs and clubs during this festive season. Refusal of entry may leave someone out in the cold and spoil everyone’s night out. We want people to drink responsibly, stay safe and get home safely!
Plan your lift home now, or book a taxi!"

And what do I think?....."Working with the college has proved successful once again. The students were very receptive when we spoke to them before this campaign. We gave some some facts and figures about alcohol and the associated problems, and they asked some probing and insightful questions. The designs they have produced and the ideas behind them which they explained to us on our second visit, were truly marvelous.

Multi-agency working is common place across Barrow and we benefit a great deal from the college being part of that. It allows us to hear the thoughts and views of young people and ensures they are part of the solution. It is important to us that they are also portrayed as part of the solution in the local press as our community reads about them working hard to produce work of such a high standard to help reduce alcohol related problems across the town.  It demonstrates their commitment to improving their, and our, community, and we are all the better for their involvement. With thanks to all the students and staff once again for your involvement and help with our Christmas campaign."

And the winning designs....where are they I hear you cry.....

Wonder no longer....they are below......
The posters........


























The beer mats....fronts and backs.....





Multi-agency operation launched to target abandoned vehicles

Police officers in Barrow have teamed up with their Roads Policing colleagues and Barrow Borough council to launch an operation to target abandoned items that cause an unnecessary obstruction to the community.

The operation is set to target boats, trailers and caravans that their owners have left on roadsides for an unreasonable length of time. The agencies involved in the Operation are raising awareness of the need for the vehicles to be removed in the lead up to 7th January 2011 when the vigorous enforcement campaign will begin.

Steve Robson, the Central and Hindpool Neighbourhood Manager, said, “We often receive complaints from residents that boats, trailers and caravans are left in back streets for weeks on end. They are not just unsightly in our community - they also pose dangers to local children.”

Peter Carr from Barrow Borough’s Environmental Health Department said: “If people abandon their trailers, boats, etc and if they fit the legislation criteria to have been abandoned, then we will consider removing them. The Streetcare services work is often hampered by such vehicles, which results in back streets not getting cleaned, and refuse collectors being unable to drive down the streets to collect refuse.”

Sergeant Ian McClymont, who is coordinating the operation said: “We would expect owners of trailers, boats and caravans to remove them from the roadside and park them off the road were they will not cause an obstruction. By definition, if they are left on the road - which includes back streets - for a significant amount of time, it is an unnecessary obstruction and the owner’s risk having their property seized and getting a fixed penalty ticket.
“Many of the owners parking these items on the streets are doing so to avoid fees charged for mooring boats, or putting caravans in compounds. However by leaving them on the streets they cause problems for other residents, present dangers to children playing in the area and take up valuable parking spaces.”

Gavin Roberts, form Barrow Fire and Rescue Service said: “By leaving these vehicles in back streets they become a target for damage and present a fire risk. They also have the potential to prevent fire engines from accessing the scene of a fire quickly and easily so could risk a person’s life.”

Farming chemicals stolen from Ulverston Auction Market

Police investigating the theft of farming chemicals and food supplements in Ulverston are warning members of the public that the items could be dangerous if consumed.


Between 6pm on 8th December and 8am on the 9th, a burglary took place at Farm Supplies, Unit 7, Auction Market, North Lonsdale Terrace, Ulverston.

The offender or offenders broke into the property through a rear window and stole approximately £3,850 worth of chemicals and food supplements.

Officers believe that the items are likely to have been stolen to order, but locals are being asked to look out for discarded items and, if found, to contact police or hand them in at the nearest police station as the chemicals would be dangerous if consumed.

Anyone with information should contact PC Deborah Murray at Ulverston Police Station on 0845 33 00 247.
Information can also be given via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Police to hold virtual meeting in Barrow

Barrow police are holding an online meeting this week to provide local residents with the chance to ‘chat’ with some of the area’s top cops from the comfort of their own homes.

By logging onto www.cumbria.police.uk/barrowmeeting on Thursday 16th December between 6pm to 8pm, residents will be given a chance to let their virtual voices be heard by taking part in an online meeting with their local inspector.

At the same time as raising questions to local Inspector David Bosson about issues in their local area or sharing any concerns they may have, South Cumbria’s top cop, Chief Superintendent Paul Kennedy, will also be in the hot seat and able to answer questions, provide an update on future policing in the area and share advice.
Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector David Bosson said: “Community meetings are great ways for residents to put forward their views on what police should be doing and how, but it’s hard to arrange a time and venue that enables everybody to come along.
“Online web chats have been piloted recently by the Constabulary and have generated positive responses from local people who get the chance to talk to local police officers in a convenient, simple way – without having to leave their homes or families.
“It provides people who don’t like to speak out in public, or who don’t want to ask us questions out on the street to speak out anonymously and hear our honest answers.
“I’d urge as many people as possible to log on so that we get a true reflection of what the communities of Barrow think and feel. If you live outside of Barrow but would like to use the opportunity to ask a question or share your views feel free to log on and join in.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Kennedy, also in the hot seat this Thursday 16th December from 6pm-8pm, will be ready to answer your questions.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Can you help ‘Every Dream Matters’ get into the charts?

A group of looked after children could be on the verge of pop stardom as they aim to get a song they've written into the UK charts.

The young people wrote and recorded 'Every Dream Matters' as part of a project run by the Cumbria based arts company Whitewood and Fleming in partnership with Cumbria County Council.

The lyrics of the song reflect the experiences and hopes of young people and their feelings about being in care.

'Every Dream Matters' is now available on itunes at a cost of 79 pence.

The public is being urged to download the track during the week 6-11 December.
It's hoped if enough people buy it, it could break into the UK itune charts.

All proceeds from sales will go towards developing further work with looked after children.

Last year the group performed the song in London as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC.)
Councillor Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council cabinet member responsible for children's social care, said:
"These young people continue to be an inspiration to us all through their hard work and passion. If we all download the tune during that week we could well have a hit on our hands!"

To hear 'Every Dream Matters' follow the link below:
http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/eLibrary/view.asp?ID=33798

For more information contact: everydreammatters@googlemail.com  or visit www.facebook.com/Everydreammatters

Together we can achieve the best for every child, young person and their family in Cumbria

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Stay off frozen lakes!

There have been  a number of reports of adults and young people walking and sliding over the park lake and Cocken lake in Barrow.

In response the this news, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Locality Manager Dave Coverdale would like to say the following: " We strongly advise people not to put themselves and others in danger by going onto frozen ponds and lakes.

There are many potential dangers associated with a frozen body of water. Although it may appear to be robust and strong, there can be little or no support and the ice can give way with no warning with the potential for anyone involved either drowning or suffering from hypothermia. If the ice gives way then there is a potential for an individual to be trapped and when the weather is like this hypothermia sets in very, very quickly. We would also urge parents to know where their children are when they are out and about in the cold weather and to never leave youngsters unsupervised near frozen ponds, rivers and lakes.
Our message is simple - 'Stay off any frozen body of water for your own safety'

Dog walkers are also asked to keep their dogs on leads near frozen water if there is a risk of them venturing onto the ice and getting into trouble."


If you see someone fall through the ice you should:
- Call the emergency services
- Do not attempt to go out on to the ice yourself
- Tell the person to stay still to maintain heat and energy
- Try finding something which will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole or branch
- Throw the object out and, once ensuring you are stable on the bank either by lying down or having someone hold on to you, pull them in
- If you cannot find something to reach with, try finding an object that will float and push that out to them
- Ensure that you keep off the ice at all times during the rescue, continue to reassure the casualty and keep them talking until help arrives.


Inspector Dave Bosson of Barrow police supports what his fire service colleague has said.  He also added, "We get lots of calls from the community about youths on the ice.  This is not in relation to anti social behaviour, but because members of the public are genuinely concerned, as we are, when they see youngsters playing on the ice unaware of the hidden dangers.

The hazards and risks from ice are unseen and we do not want any tragic accidents to occur."

Please stay safe and stay off the ice.

It's e-Cops day in Cumbria next Wednesday

Cumbria Constabulary is holding its first ‘eCops day’ next week to help keep local communities safe both online and offline in the lead up to Christmas.

On Wednesday 15th December, Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde will be joined by other police officers and staff who will be opening up online forums to provide advice and answer questions from different members of the community. The day will see the Constabulary open up a series of topics for online debate including policing advice on fraud during the run up to Christmas, crime prevention for businesses, a farmers forum and an hour ‘cop on the spot’ where people can log on and ask any general policing questions.
The first online forum of the day will provide policing advice for primary and secondary schools and is open for all youngsters to join and ask their questions. The children of St. Colomba’s RC Primary School in Barrow-In-Furness have already confirmed that they will be online on the day taking part to ask their questions.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde, who is who is renowned as one of the UK’s leading lights in cybercrime within his role as President of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB), said:
“A lot of work goes on by police in Cumbria in the lead up to Christmas to keep our communities safe and ensure they can enjoy the festivities safely. We want to make sure that as many people as possible can access the expertise they need to stay safe and avoid falling foul of criminals both online and offline this Christmas.
“This day has been designed to appeal to as many people as possible and throughout the course of the day we will be opening up debates for local school children and youngsters, as well as providing an opportunity for businesses to log on and ask our force’s fraud expert any questions about how they can protect their business, customers and staff from cybercrime. The last forum of the day is aimed at farmers to ask questions and share aspects of farming crime prevention advice.
Webchats present a new and exciting way for local people to engage with police officers in a manner and at a time that is most convenient to them. By offering our specialist services and advice throughout the course of a whole day, we hope that people on their lunch breaks, after school or at a time when a problem or issue comes up during a normal course of the day, can log onto Cumbria Constabulary’s website and ask anything they want to from the comfort of their homes, schools, farmhouse or office chairs.”

eCops day is open to anyone and crime prevention prizes for you, your business or school can be won throughout the course of the day.

On Wednesday 15 December you can put your questions to police officers during any of the following webchats:
10am-2pm - Schools
An opportunity for schools and youngsters to ask police officers and members of the Police Authority questions
1pm to 2pm – ‘tis the season to wise up on fraud
Ask questions about protection against fraud when shopping online in the run up to Christmas and to make sure your business is secure
3pm to 5pm – Crime Prevention for Businesses
Crimes committed against businesses can have a very high cost. Join this web chat to make sure that you take appropriate measures in place to protect your business
6pm to 7pm – Cop on the Spot
An hour for you to speak to Cumbria police officers from the comfort of your own home, to ask questions or discuss the policing issues which concern you or your neighbourhood
8pm to 9pm – Farmers Forum
Farmers and residents living in rural communities can join this web chat to ask questions and share aspects of farming crime prevention advice

To join the event and to find out more information please visit: www.cumbria.police.uk/online

Monday, 6 December 2010

Barrow neighbourhood policing team move to new base on Dalton Road

The Neighbourhood Policing Team that covers Barrow Island and Barrow central has moved into the Neighbourhood Management offices on Dalton Road.

The new accommodation will allow the team of twelve officers to work alongside some of their key partners including Neighbourhood Wardens, Barrow’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and Furness Enterprise. It will also ensure that the police continue to have a solid, high visibility presence in the town centre.

Inspector David Bosson who leads Barrow’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This is a very positive move that has been well received by members of our team and the Neighbourhood Management Board. It will provide residents of Barrow central, Hindpool and Barrow Island with a ‘one stop shop’ to tackle local community concerns and enables the different agencies that are very closely aligned to work together under one roof.
“This is a big step forward in our partnership approach to policing community issues and will make information sharing a lot easier. The team will continue to provide the same high standards of community policing but it means that we are better placed and have more resources to tackle local issues than ever before.”

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: “Cumbria Constabulary is committed to maintaining a visible policing presence in Barrow. This new base will provide the residents and businesses of Barrow with a consistent high visibility police presence in close proximity to many shops, businesses, pubs and clubs.
“I’d like to thank the IT team at Barrow Borough Council who have worked extremely hard to overcome technical issues to allow us to move into the building as quickly as we have.
“Working in the Neighbourhood Management Offices will strengthen our relationship with other local agencies and will take our partnership approach to tackling local issues to the next level. As we face tough financial challenges, collaborating with partner agencies will become absolutely key to the future of Cumbria Constabulary.”

The police station on Market Street will remain the main point for the public to report crimes and meet with police officers face-to-face. The Neighbourhood Management Offices on Dalton Road will be open to the public who would like help or advice on community issues for the Barrow Central, Hindpool and Barrow Island areas.

Neighbourhood Manager Steve Robson added: “We are delighted that the police have moved into our premises as this further cements our day to day working relationship and also improves the opportunities for working together in the future.
“We’ve made great progress tackling crime and anti-social behaviour over the last four years through consistently working together to tackle community problems. This move is the next step and we hope to continue to see improvements in community life in Barrow for years to come.”

The Neighbourhood Management Offices are open to the public between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

The Neighbourhood Policing team will be hosting a ‘meet and greet’ session for the local community on Dalton Road adjacent to Thorntons on Thursday 9 December from 12pm-3pm. This event will be used as an opportunity for any members of the community to come along and meet their officers, see where abouts they are based and ask police any questions.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Police hit south Cumbrian drug dealer where it hurts – his wallet

An Askam man appeared in Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act Hearing this week where he was ordered to repay over £17,000.

35-year-old David Charles McCormick of Plover Close, Askam, appeared in Barrow Crown Court on Wednesday 1 December for a POCA hearing after he was jailed for five and half years for drugs supply.

The Judge found McCormick to have criminally benefitted from a total of £40,853.92 and was ordered to repay £17,839 within six months – for face a further eight months in jail.

The investigation into McCormick began on Wednesday 14th April 2010 when officers from the South Cumbria Drugs unit conducted a stop search on him on Lindal Street, Barrow-in-Furness and recovered a quantity of heroin from his person, along with £1435 in cash.
A further search was then carried out at his home address at Plover Close where a further quantity of heroin was recovered along with £11,020 in cash. In total, 4 ounces of heroin was recovered with a potential street value of £6000.
McCormick pleaded guilty to supplying heroin and money laundering when he appeared in Furness and District Magistrates court on 27th May 2010.

DC Alarna Butcher from South Cumbria’s Drugs Unit, said: “I hope this result inspires confidence amongst the law abiding community that we are determined to stop criminals profiting from crimes that affect their lives.
“Our efforts don’t stop when a criminal gets put behind bars – we continue to pursue them and our financial investigation team works hard to bring offenders before the courts again so that their criminal gains are taken off them.”

DC Nick Doherty, a financial investigator who worked on the case said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to hit criminals where it hurts – their lifestyles and their wallets.
“We are committed to getting rid of drugs from the streets of Cumbria and recovering any financial benefit dealers may have acquired through their crimes.
“By pedalling drugs from Liverpool into our communities, McCormick benefitted from tens of thousands of pounds. As well as stripping him of his freedom, the criminal justice system has been able to strip him of his criminal gains.”

To report information you may have about drugs in your area, ring Cumbria Constabulary on 0845 33 00 247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111