Thursday, 31 March 2011

Policing Plan for Cumbria available from today

The Policing Plan for Cumbria will be published and available to view on the 31st March 2011. This plan sets out the services the Chief Constable has agreed with the Police Authority to deliver for the people of Cumbria. The plan makes the best use of the people and money available to deliver a safer and stronger Cumbria.

Ray Cole, Police Authority Chairman said “The Police Authority works on behalf of everyone in Cumbria to make sure that your police force is effective at fighting crime and provides value for money.
“We set out in the plan how areas of concern for the public will be addressed working with partner agencies, such as burglary, antisocial behaviour, speeding and dangerous driving. The plan also identifies how we will continue to address other priority areas such as drugs trafficking and protecting vulnerable children and adults. In the current economic climate, reviewing and restructuring our organisation will also be a major focus for us.
“The continuing priority of the Police Authority will be to ensure the Constabulary maintains the highest possible standards of policing throughout the county, within the current greatly reduced budget.”

The Policing plan is available to view on the Police Authority Website homepage http://www.cumbriapoliceauthority.org.uk/  and will appear on the Constabulary website later today http://www.cumbria.police.uk/

A direct link to the plan is: http://www.cumbriapoliceauthority.org.uk/Admin/uploads/attachment/documents/110309_Policing_Plan_2011-2014_post_PA_v3-_for_publication.pdf

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Police investigating a sexual assault issue an image of the man they want to speak to

Police in Cumbria have issued an e-fit image of the man they want to speak to in connection with the sexual assault of a young girl in Barrow.


At around 9pm on Monday 21st March a 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted close to the junction of Lancaster Street and Harrogate Street, Barrow in Furness, as she walked home alone.

The police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to come forward. In particular they would like to speak to anyone in the area who saw a young girl walking on her own, or maybe saw her running and in a distressed state.

The police are keen to identify a white male who was in the area at the time of the incident. He is described as being of stocky build and 5’ 10” in height. He was wearing a dark top, zipped up with the hood up, dark trousers and boots. To help identify this man, police today released an electronic artist’s impression of the man in the hope that someone will recognise him.

Detective Sergeant John Dilks said: “This is a particularly nasty incident and has had a huge impact on the girl and her family. Incidents of this kind are rare in Cumbria but I need to remind people to take sensible precautions to stay safe. Avoid walking alone, especially after dark. Use popular and well lit routes and let friends and family know where you are and when you are due home. If you are suspicious of someone then tell a trusted adult or call police.
“We have released an e-fit of the man we want to speak to in connection with this incident. If you recognise him, or if you saw any suspicious activity in the Lancaster Street area of Barrow on the evening of Monday 21st March, then call Barrow CID on 0845 33 00 247, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Police charge teenagers with burglary in Barrow

Barrow police have charged three local teenagers in connection with a burglary that occurred in the town on Sunday.


About 9.30pm on Sunday 27th March 2011, a burglary occurred at Newspoint on Church St, Barrow in Furness. Offenders broke into the premises by smashing the upper window in the front door before climbing inside. They are alleged to have stolen cash and cigarettes.

Three 15 year old males from Barrow were arrested soon after the incident was reported to the police and have since been jointly charged with burglary. They are set to appear at Furness & District Youth Court on 15th April 2011.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Police issue advice to communities as British summertime starts

Cumbria Constabulary are issuing crime prevention messages to help people keep their homes and cars safe now the clocks have changed and British summertime has started (the clocks went forward on Sunday 27th March).

As we start to enjoy longer days and lighter nights, people can be tempted to leave doors and windows open which can attract opportunist thieves. Officers are appealing to their communities to keep possessions safe, hidden and locked to help them beat the criminals.

As summer approaches many people are out enjoying the Lake District, national parks and local attractions that our county offers, Officers are urging people to ensure that their cars are locked and possessions are either left at home or locked away in the boot.

Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham said: “As the lighter evenings and better weather approaches we urge people to be vigilant and secure their property which will help to prevent them from becoming a victim of crime.
“Tackling burglary continues to be a priority for the Constabulary, particularly those involving people’s homes. It is very distressing to have a stranger enter your home and steal personal belongings.
“Despite having the lowest burglary figures in the country, investigations show that that this number could be greatly reduced if we all simply remembered to keep possessions safe, hidden and lock up our homes and cars.
“In a matter of minutes thieves can take advantage of an opportunity; remember to lock windows and doors of your home when you go out. It is also important to secure the windows and doors that are easily accessible to thieves when you are upstairs or in your garden.
“I would also urge people to ensure that they take the following advice to ensure the safety of your car; closing windows, locking doors and activating security alarms when leaving your car, even if only for a short time.
“Cumbria remains one of the safest places in the country, demonstrated by the low levels of crime we see year on year. We want our communities to help us keep it that way, and ensure that thieves do not spoil the start of summertime.”

Top tips to keep your house safe:


• Keep cash & valuables safe & well hidden so they can’t be seen or reached by thieves
• Lock doors & windows before you go out, removing keys from locks & keep them out of reach
• Leave a light on in a room & draw curtains when you go out at night
• Postcode your valuables with a UV pen, considering registering them on www.immobilise.com  
• Cancel newspapers, milk etc when you go on holiday
• Look out for your neighbours property
• Don't let cold callers in to your home




Top tips to keep your car safe:


• Park in a busy, well lit area or secure car park if possible
• Close windows, sunroof, lock doors & activate security alarms when leaving your car
• Do not leave valuables or shopping on display in your car
• Take possessions & valuables with you when you leave your car, eg: coats, jackets, cash, credit cards, mobile phones, sat nav systems etc
• If you have no choice, make sure valuables & shopping are locked in the boot; taking care no-one is watching you
• Never leave keys in the ignition, even if only for a short time & on cold days, don’t leave your car unattended with the engine running while it warms up
• Always keep your keys secure


For more information and useful crime prevention advice visit the Cumbria Constabulary website at http://www.cumbria.police.uk/ or contact you local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0845 33 00 247.

Friday, 25 March 2011

New plan for the coming year....your thoughts please

 Barrow CDRP have produced a Partnership Plan for the coming year - April 2010 to March 2012 - and we want to know what you think.

We've already carried out an assessment of crime and disorder across the borough and now it is time to put down on paper what we intend to do about it.

The police, probation, the courts service and many others do a great deal every day to reduce crime, disorder, substance misuse and re-offending as individual agencies, and in partnership with others.

Our aim is to compliment this work and facilitate the most collaborative working possible across the town.

We also provide a route for members of the public to become involved and shape the way we work. If you have a question, a comment, an idea or a criticism of our plan then please get in touch. We welcome your thoughts, ideas and contributions.

Our plan can be viewed by clicking on the link beneath the picture of the front page below. Once you have had a look then please let us know what you think........

Barrow CDRP Partnership Plan
     
We are asking for feedback and views over the next 6 weeks. Once this time period is up we will finalise our plan for the year, taking account of everything that has been said, and publish the final plan.

We welcome your comments all year round and it will influence what we do and how we do it....so if you have a comment or idea - don't keep it to yourself - please get in touch!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Police launch investigation following a sexual assault in Barrow

An investigation has been launched by police after a 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted close to the junction of Lancaster Street and Harrogate Street, Barrow in Furness. The incident occurred at around 9pm on Monday 21 March as she was walking home alone.

The police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to come forward. In particular they would like to speak to anyone in the area who saw a young girl walking on her own, or maybe saw her running and in a distressed state.

The police are keen to identify a white male who was in the area at the time of the incident. He is described as being of stocky build and 5’ 10” in height. He was wearing a dark track top, zipped up and with the hood up, dark trousers and wearing rigger boots. The area was cordoned off while detectives and crime scene investigators scoured the scene for evidence.

DS John Dilks said “This is a particularly nasty incident and has had a huge affect on the girl and her family. A team of detectives have been dedicated to the investigation since the incident was reported and the victim is being supported by specially trained officers.
“Incidents of this kind are extremely rare; however I would like to remind people to avoid walking alone after dark if possible.”

Police are issuing an appeal for anyone who thinks they may have any information that can help police with their enquiries to come forward. Any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence, please contact DS John Dilks or any of the Detectives at Barrow CID on 0845 33 00 247 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police name motorcyclist killed in A591 collision yesterday

Police can confirm that the motorcyclist who sadly died in a road traffic collision on the A591 yesterday has been formally identified as 72 year old Kenneth Hardy from Elleray Gardens, Windermere.


The collision occurred at around 2pm on Monday 21st of March 2011 at Plantation Bridge on the A591 and involved a blue Harley Davidson and a Grey Peugeot 207.

Mr Hardy, the rider of the motorcycle, sadly died at the scene. The driver of the Peugeot, a 64 year old woman from the Kendal area was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving, and has been released on police bail until 24 May 2011.

The road was closed for approximately 5 hours to allow evidence to be obtained from the scene and for the vehicles to be recovered.

Police are keen to hear from any witnesses to the collision and are particularly keen to trace the driver of a metallic blue or black small car who stopped at the scene as they may have information that can help them with their investigation.

Anyone with information is urged to contact PC Ian Hansen of the Roads Policing Unit, Kendal on 0845 33 00 247.

Don't buy products from cold callers.....

There is a "security" company cold calling residents offering free or cheap products. We recommend that the public do not deal with cold calling companies as there are often hidden charges or people are sold things they don't need.


They often use aggressive sales techniques but please do not fall for their claims as you may find yourself paying large amounts for something you don't need or want.

For FREE home security advice please visit www.cumbria.police.uk or ring the police non-emergency number and ask to speak to your local PCSO on 0845 33 00 247.

For specific information please ring the same number and ask to speak to Sharon Livesey, Crime Prevention Officer for Barrow and the Furness Area.

If you live in an area of Cumbria other the Barrow please ring the 0845 33 00 247 number and ask to speak to the Crime Prevention Officer in your area.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Police investigate fatal RTC in Kendal

Police officers in attendance at a collision on the A591 at Plantation Bridge, Kendal can confirm that a motorcyclist has sadly died at the scene.


The collision occurred at around 2.04pm this afternoon close to the Plantation Garage and involved a grey Peugeot 207 driven by a 64 yr old woman from Kendal and a motorcycle, driven by a man who was believed to be in his 70s.

Highways are in attendance and a road closure has been put on at Plumgarths roundabout.

The driver of the Peugeot, a 64 year old woman from Kendal, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

Police officers are now working to formally identify the man and inform his immediate family.

Man sentenced for attempted armed robbery in Maryport


David McCracken
A man has been sentenced today for an attempted armed robbery in Maryport.
David McCracken, 27, of Ellenfoot Drive, Maryport appeared in Carlisle Crown Court today after pleading guilty to attempted armed robbery back in December 2010. He was handed four and a half years for the offence – three years for attempted armed robbery and one and a half years for possessing an imitation firearm. He also received a separate three year sentence for a previous offence of arson in Preston, Lancashire that occurred in January 2010. All sentences will be served consecutively.

McCracken was arrested when off duty Inspector, Dennis Kelly, finished duty in Wigton and travelled to the petrol station at Spar Stores on Curzon Street, Maryport at around 2am on 29 July 2010.

As Inspector Kelly was fuelling his vehicle, he witnessed McCracken approach the hatchet of the Spar. McCracken asked the attendant for a sandwich, cigarettes and scratch cards but when the attendant returned with the goods, McCracken was pointing a gun at him.

The imitation gun used during the incident
Inspector Kelly witnessed the incident and immediately tackled him to the ground and arrested him. Armed police officers were dispatched to the scene and an imitation firearm was recovered from the scene by police.

Inspector Dennis Kelly said: “McCracken’s crime was foiled because it just so happened that I was in the right place at the right time.
“I had pulled into the petrol station after finishing work and saw a man who seemed to be acting suspiciously. I started watching him and walked towards the cash machine to get a better view. As I walked from the forecourt towards him, he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the cashier and said, ‘and I’ll have all the money in the till.’
“I was behind him at this point and instincts took over. I pinned him against the wall of the kiosk, wrestled the gun off him and then put him on the floor. I told the cashier to call the police and told McCracken that I was an off duty police officer and he was being arrested on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.
“I’m glad that I was able to help during what must have been a terrifying ordeal for the member of staff and I’m pleased that McCracken’s guilty plea meant that the cashier didn’t have to relive the whole incident in court.”

West Cumbria Superintendent, Andy Towler, said at the time: “This was an incredibly brave and professional act from a dedicated police officer.
“Dennis is a very experienced officer who made a swift, professional judgment to intervene in a bid to protect a vulnerable member of staff and other members of the public.
” I am very proud of Inspector Kelly who acted in the finest traditions of Cumbria Constabulary.”

Police deal with serious RTC in Kendal

Police officers are currently dealing with a serious road traffic collision on A591 Plantation Bridge, Kendal.


The collision involves a motorcyclist and one car and was reported to police at 2.04pm this afternoon. Emergency services are currently in attendance and an air ambulance is travelling to the area.

The road has been closed from Crook Toll Bar to Windermere Railway station to allow emergency services access to the scene. All traffic is being diverted on the Windermere to Crook road.

Police appeal for witnesses after recovering a skimming device from a Workington Cash Machine

Detectives in West Cumbria’s CID are appealing for witnesses and advising anyone that may have used the cash machine at HSBC Bank, Pow Street, Workington to be vigilant when checking their accounts for any suspicious activity after recovering a 'skimming device' from the machine.


On Wednesday 16th March, Police were alerted to the cash machine at HSBC, Pow Street after a member of the public using the machine raised the alarm to the bank.

The skimming device consisting of a false panel, looking exactly like a legitimate slot was fixed onto the cash machine to fraudulently obtain credit and debit card numbers. When the card passes through the false card slot, the card details are saved onto a Memory Card within the device. A second, well concealed video device is then often placed above the key pad on the cash machine which records pin numbers as they are tapped into the machine.

The skimming device was well concealed and not noticeable upon first inspection.

Both devices installed on the HSBC’s cash machine were recovered by police and are being examined by the Forensic department.

Detective Constable Nicola Ivison said: "Both devices from the cash machine were recovered and as both were intact, both the HSBC and the Police are confident that whoever was responsible for this crime have not obtained the users’ bank details of anyone using the cash machine.
"However, I'd like to urge users to be vigilant when checking their account and appeal to anyone who uses Cash Machines to always look for any suspicious attachments or devices on the machine. Ensure that you shield your pin number and where possible, withdraw cash from machines that are situated within a bank or building society.
"Offences of this nature are highly organised and can cause a lot of distress and misery for many innocent victims. A full investigation into the incident has begun and we are appealing for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity to contact the Police."

Police have issued the following advice to using cash machines safely:
  • Shield the keypad from prying eyes or hidden cameras with your free hand while you type in your PIN
  • Where possible use cash from machines that are situation within a bank or building society
  • Check your immediate surroundings to ensure there's no-one lurking suspiciously near you - if they are, then use a different machine
  • If you're listening to headphones, turn them down or take them off - you may need to be aware of the world around you
  • Never allow yourself to be distracted - for example if someone tells you that you've "dropped something"
  • If you suspect there's something unusual about the machine, or any sign that it might have been doctored, then don't use it
  • If you pay for purchases by card, make sure you check your bank statements and credit card accounts regularly so you can spot any unusual activity quickly
 A spokesman for the bank said their cash machines are checked regularly and customers are offered protection against fraud, they have advised that anyone that has any concerns of unauthorised activity on their accounts should make contact initially with their own bank.

 
The Police are appealing for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity at or around the HSBC Bank recently to contact DC Nicola Ivison on 0845 33 00 247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Unexploded mortar found on Walney

Police can confirm that at 5.20pm on 17th March 2011 a member of the public reported that they had dug up what they believed to be an old mortar or incendiary device in an allotment near to James Dunn Park Walney.


Police attended the scene and secured the area, cordoning the area off for public safety, remaining there overnight.

At 8am this morning (Friday 18th March) an Army bomb disposal team from Catterick attended the scene and identified the device as a mortar, the mortar was transported to a beach on Walney where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Warning after dangerous drugs stolen from vet's van

Police in West Cumbria are issuing an urgent warning to thieves after a quantity of dangerous drugs was stolen from a veterinary surgeon’s vehicle overnight.


The van, parked outside Belle Vue Vets on Syke Park, Wigton, was broken into overnight and a quantity of drugs including Euthatal and Somulose were stolen. These drugs are used to euthanase large animals and police are issuing an urgent warning because they would have fatal consequences if injected by humans.

If anyone witnessed the incident or knows of the whereabouts of the stolen drugs, they are asked to take them to their nearest police station, vets or pharmacist immediately.
Please call police on 0845 33 00 247 with any information or in an emergency, dial 999.
You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111.

Cumbria Constabulary Opens Voluntary Redundancy Scheme

As part of the response to the Constabulary being required to cut its budget by £18.7million the existing Voluntary Redundancy Scheme has been opened up to all police staff.

The Constabulary has had a recruitment freeze in place since July 2010.

Chief Constable, Craig Mackey said: “Cumbria Constabulary has to reduce its budget by £18.7million 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 police staff establishment will need to 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 and as at 1 April 2011 we will have some 746 full time equivalent police staff. Additionally, there are a number of consultations currently underway with staff.
“The Constabulary, where possible, works with police staff to progress voluntary redundancy, in practice this has been closely linked to the specific structural changes identified. However, the Scheme is now being opened up across the Constabulary and staff have been asked to give an expression of interest which is not legally binding. Once we have the expressions of interest we will be able to consider these against the structural changes within the Constabulary on a business case basis.
Staff that have been placed at risk 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 after all other avenues have been exhausted.”

The Voluntary Redundancy scheme is open to police staff and not police officers.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pictures from the Love Barrow Awards 2011

Some truly amazing people and a truly wonderful night.

Pictures from the Love Barrow Awards 2011 that took place last Friday night.  Photos by Rosie Hillman








Thursday, 10 March 2011

Greengate Junior School pupils become journalists!

Pupils at Greengate Junior School were pleased with new recording equipment they bought with money from the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership Community fund.  The fund gives small amounts of money to projects and groups that are aiming to bring different groups of the community together to make Barrow a stronger community.

The school will use the equipment as part of their journalist week and for a variety of other activities throughout the year.

The equipment helped pupils interview local MP John Woodcock who visited the school as part of Book Week.

Pictured on the right is (from back left) Steve Robson, Central and Hindpool Neighbourhood Manager and John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness.

The two Greengate Junior School pupils are interviewing John in their new library and it will be the first interview of many......

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

It's no smoking day today!

Thousands of smokers across the country are taking the opportunity of No Smoking Day – Wednesday 9th March – to quit smoking.


Smokers are much more likely to succeed in their quit attempt if they begin planning in good time, setting a quit date, getting all the support and information they will need in advance by going to Free NHS stop smoking services or Pharmacies and visiting No Smoking Day’s website dedicated to smokers – http://www.wequit.co.uk/

So why not make No Smoking Day your Time to Quit? You can kick the habit with the help and support that is available. Those who do stop smoking today will gain health and financial benefits in next to no time, including:
• Feeling fitter and having loads of energy to start that healthy lifestyle – not feeling out of breath when the dog takes you for a brisk walk!
• Saving loads of money – giving up a 20-a-day habit is like a £44 a week pay rise!

Locally organisers from Barrow Borough Council, NHS Cumbria and other organisations are hosting an event in Barrow Indoor Market on Wednesday 9th March from 10am-2pm. Smokers can have their carbon monoxide levels monitored and receive free information on quitting.

In addition passes for a free swim or an aerobics/dance or spin class at the Park Leisure Centre will be available for anyone speaking to an advisor on the day. For those people who wish to use exercise as a motivational tool to quit an advisor from the Leisure Centre will be on hand to discuss options and offer discounted memberships.

In addition to the Indoor Market event display materials will be available in local venues including the Dock Museum, Forum, Town Hall, Dalton Leisure Centre and the Park Leisure Centre. Advisors will also be speaking to quitters in other local settings to raise awareness.

22.6 % of adults in the area smoke and research has shown that over two thirds of them would like to quit. No Smoking Day provides an excellent opportunity for them to do that. By using the support available on No Smoking Day and throughout the year you can significantly increase your chance of success.

'Gangster’ Loan shark ordered to pay back £270,000

A convicted loan shark has been ordered to pay back almost £270,000 to the courts, after a financial investigation by the Trading Standards North West Illegal money lending team found he had made this illegally.
Michael Morris 41 will have to pay back all of his available assets, amounting to £268,992.05 to the courts or face a further jail term.

Michael Morris was investigated and prosecuted by the Illegal money lending team and in July last year sentenced to four years imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to illegal money lending affray, three counts of blackmail and eight counts of criminal damage.

Simon Mortimer prosecuting explained how Morris made in excess of £383,000 through illegal money lending in the Salford, Trafford and Stockportareas. Documentation was found when the team carried out a search warrant a Morris’s home relating to 815 separate loan agreements made over a number of years.

Morris’s assets included a 50% share in his former home in Roundcroft, Stockport valued at £180,00 and, three other properties which he rented out in the Stockport area. He also had a substantial amount of money in a private pension scheme plus money in bank accounts. During the warrants at Morris’ home more than £800 in cash was seized.

At the sentencing in July, His Honour Judge Lever described Morris’s behaviour as “like a gangster” and “murder of the soul.”

The court heard how former boxer, Morris made threats towards customers who could not pay back the extortionate rates he was charging.He would cut the phone and TV wires to the homes of his customers if they were in debt to him. He also glued locks on doors.

His victims were so frightened, some were forced to move house. Morris would send round ‘bailiffs’ to collect items such as TVs, computers and games consoles if they failed to pay, and then add additional charges for the bailiffs’ visits.

Morris must pay back the full amount within six months or face a further jail term of three years. Any money made by Morris in the future will be closely monitored.

Councillor Joe Murphy, lead member for environment including Trading Standards at Salford Council said: "Today's outcome shows how agencies, including Salford, have worked together to bring offenders involved in serious and organised crime to justice."

Councillor Stuart Bodsworth, Executive Member for the Environment at Stockport Council, said: “Loan sharks are a blight on our community and prey on some of the most vulnerable members of society. I would like to thanks the Council’s Trading Standards team for working with the Illegal Money Lending Team to bring this loan shark to justice. We will continue to work together in the future to protect residents from loan sharks.”

Consumer Minister Edward Davey said: "I am delighted to see this outcome - it is important that these criminals are taken off the street so that they can't take advantage of vulnerable people.
"I am grateful to the Trading Standards North West Illegal Money Lending teamfor all their hard work. Their efforts in making such a strong case meant they secured a conviction and seized some considerable assets. This important work is further evidence that the Department's decision to continue funding this project is money well spent."

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 180 prosecutions resulting in 107 years worth of prison sentences for illegal lending and related offences, plus an indefinite sentence for public protection. They have written off £37million worth of illegal debt and supported over 16,000 victims.

To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

New advice warns buyers ahead of Olympic ticket sales

With less than one week to go until the ticketing process for the Olympic Games opens, new advice has been launched to make sure it’s the criminals who miss out.

The rise in the use of the internet to purchase tickets and accommodation packages online, coupled with the huge expected demand, gives criminals new opportunities to sell non-existent tickets and steal personal and credit card details to use in other crimes.

Sports fans will be able to get their hands on over 8 million tickets for the Olympic Games and a further 2 million for the Paralympics from 15 March – 26 April when the ticket process opens.

By taking some simple steps, ticket buyers can help to avoid falling victim to crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said: “The 2012 Games will be one of the biggest sporting events this country has ever hosted, with nearly 11m tickets available for events right across the country.
“Criminals are always looking for ways to con and steal and will see the Olympics as a way to cash in by selling fake tickets or setting up hoax websites. These sites are almost always professional and honest looking, but could take your money and leave you out of pocket and a victim of crime.
“We are offering some easy-to-follow advice to help keep you safe and ensure that people’s excitement about the Games next year isn’t blighted by a bad online experience.”

If you’re buying a ticket for the Games:

o The London 2012 ticket application process opens on the 15 March and you have until 26 April to apply for tickets through LOCOG as tickets are not allocated on a first come first served basis.

o The only way to apply for a ticket in the UK is at www.tickets.london2012.com  This is London 2012’s official site. You can also get a postal application from any Lloyds TSB branch, or from any public library in Northern Ireland. Don’t buy a ticket from an unauthorised website or tout. You risk being scammed, and not getting the ticket you wanted and paid for.

o If you get a ticket for an event you can’t attend, you can return your ticket to get a refund through the London 2012 official ticket exchange. Your ticket will then be officially resold. Details of this will be announced in due course.

o There are only three official providers for Games Breaks and Hospitality Packages in the UK - these are:
Thomas Cook - http://www.thomascooklondon2012.com/
Prestige Travel - http://www.prestigeticketing.london2012.com/
Jet Set Travel - http://www.jetsetsports.com/

o Other websites or companies will not be authorised to sell you a ticket as part of a package in the UK. Always check the terms and conditions to see exactly what you are being sold;

o Outside of the UK London 2012 tickets are sold through the country’s National Olympic Committee, or their authorised retailer.

o If you find tickets for sale before the 15th March 2011 or available from any unauthorised source at anytime, don’t buy them. They are not genuine. Report it to your local police, or London 2012 via brandprotection@london2012.com  

If you want advice and guidance on fraud please visit http://www.actionfraud.org/

Carlisle woman arrested following operation by Illegal Money Lending Team

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending and money laundering following an operation by the Trading Standards North West illegal money lending team working in partnership with Cumbria County Council.

The Team executed a warrant at a property in Carlisle on the morning of 1st March, seizing and confiscating documentation during the search

The woman aged 40 was questioned by officers from the Illegal Money Lending Team and has now been released on bail until Monday 18th April 2011 whilst further enquiries have been carried out.

A spokesman from Cumbria County Council said “We are very pleased to work with the Trading Standards Illegal money lending team, to send a clear message that loan sharking is a crime and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Nationally the illegal money lending teams have secured over 180 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 107 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £37million worth of illegal debt and helped over 16,000 victims.

To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
E-mail: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
Log-on to: www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Driver warning after incident on A590, Barrow

Police are attending an incident on the A590 after reports of an Articulated Lorry (tractive unit and trailer) overturned. The lorry was carrying pulp paper to Kimberly Clark Paper Mill in Barrow.

The incident was reported to police at 12:27 police and fire are in attendance. The Lorry driver, a 46 year old man from Middlesbrough, is not injured.

Drivers are advised to avoid the area and expect delays as emergency services deal with the incident at the scene. The road (A590) will be fully closed shortly at the roundabout from Park Road to Kimberley Clark Paper Mill to allow the vehicle to be recovered and the road to be cleared.

All traffic will be diverted through Abbey Road.

Police are urging motorists to avoid the area or take an alternative route if possible.

Police charge two men following a stabbing in Barrow

Police can confirm during the early hours of Sunday 6th March 2011 that they were contacted by Ambulance Control to an incident on the Ormsgill Estate, Barrow where a 34 year old man had received multiple stab wounds.

Police attended the scene, cordoned off the area and Detectives from Barrow CID started an investigation to establish what had happened. As a result of the investigation Detectives arrested a 29 year old local man and a 42 year old man from Greenock.

Late last night Monday 7 March the two men were both charged with wounding with intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm and will appear at Barrow Magistrates Court today.

Police can advise the injuries the victim received were not life threatening and following treatment at Furness General Hospital he has now been released.

Temp Inspector Mark Rawlinson for Barrow Police said “This was a serious incident which was dealt quickly and effectively by the police resulting in the quick arrest and subsequent charging of those involved. We can reassure local residents that incidents like this in Barrow are rare and this is an isolated incident, however to offer reassurance to the community we have increased the presence of Officers patrolling the area and would urge any body with further information in respect of this incident to contact us on 0845 33 00 247 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111"

Monday, 7 March 2011

Cumbria Police Support European Seatbelt Campaign

From 6am Monday 7th March to 6am Sunday 13th March Cumbria Constabulary will take part in a Europe-wide seatbelt campaign coordinated by TISPOL, an organisation which joins together Traffic Police from across Europe in an effort to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Europe's roads each year.

As part of the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership (CRSP), Officers from Cumbria's Roads Policing Unit, together with Community and Response Officers from across the Force will target drivers and passengers of all types of vehicles this week to ensure through enforcement and education that a strong message goes out that wearing seatbelts is compulsory for a reason.

Sergeant Jo Fawcett of Cumbria Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit said "Along with my colleagues, I attend horrendous road traffic collisions on a regular basis all over Cumbria and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the wearing of seatbelts is a major factor in both the saving of lives that would otherwise be lost.
“It is also clear that wearing seatbelts minimises the severity of the injuries people suffer. I'd urge everyone, however short the distance, to make sure they belt-up, and take responsibility for securing young people who travel with them.
"This week will see Officers out on Cumbria's roads, targeting those who don't wear their seatbelts, and sending out educational messages through community groups and the local media."

A spokesperson from TISPOL states: “It is well documented that seatbelts significantly reduce the loss of life and degree of severe injury in the event of a road traffic collision.
“Research provides us with the valuable knowledge that seatbelts save lives. Where vehicle occupants choose not to wear a seatbelt, the law is clear and the police enforce the law, as we know lives are saved as a result of seatbelt enforcement. Those people who chose not to wear a seatbelt expose themselves and their fellow passengers to the risk of fatal or serious injury consequences.”

For more information on TISPOL, log on to their website at: https://www.tispol.org/

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Police warning following spate of fuel thefts

Police are issuing a warning to the public to be vigilant and secure their fuel tanks following a recent spate of diesel and heating oil thefts in the south of the county.

Police in South Cumbria are currently investigating 15 instances of fuel theft reported to police between November 2010 and February 2011 where commercial premises, rural properties, homes, farms and holiday homes have been targeted.

Crime Prevention Officer, Terry Belshaw said: “Fuel thefts can be lucrative for criminals and because fuel tanks aren’t particularly attractive to look at, they are often tucked away out of sight – which makes a thief’s job a lot easier.
“There has been a recent increase in the number of fuel thefts reported across the county and police are urging members of the community, owners of shops and agricultural vehicles to be vigilant and report any sightings of suspicious vehicles or people to police.
“To steal large amounts of fuel, thieves will need transport so they are often in large vehicles that have the appropriate containers or can be adapted to hold large volumes of fuel.
“We are asking people to be neighbourly and keep a look out for any people or vehicles lurking in rural areas. It normally takes a considerable period of time to steal fuel, so it is likely that local people would notice something out of the ordinary.

Please call police on 0845 33 00 247 to report suspicious activity or call 999 if you witness a crime in action. Always take a note of the number plates of suspicious vehicles, as this can be the key to catching offenders.”

Police offer the following safety advice:
• Owners of commercial or agricultural vehicles should park in well lit areas and adopt security measures on the fuel tanks of the vehicle
• At home or in business, consider the location of your fuel tank. It should be seen from the building and overlooked, but preferably out of sight of the road
• Secure the tank, build a shed around it, or a metal fence or wall – which should be as close to the tank as possible
• Make sure that the tank has a strong lock, preferably to British Standard which will withstand bolt croppers (closed shackle)
• The tank can be fitted with an oil level gauge, which can be fitted to a house alarm, or will notify you (by mobile phone etc) if the level in your tank suddenly drops
• Consider the use of security lighting – remember this will put off most thieves, but it must be used in a situation where the thief knows they can or will be seen by someone. If your tank is situated in a location where no one can see or react to the light, it may actually help the thief!
• Consider also the use of CCTV – but before making that investment, consult your local Crime Prevention Officer
• Park vehicles in secure areas and make sure that the tanks are not hidden from view on the ‘blind side’ – a large vehicle provides a perfect shield from light and cameras and inquisitive eyes
• Please check your oil levels regularly, engage with your supplier, and perhaps keep a record of fuel purchased and used. If you feel you have been a victim or have something suspicious to report, do it immediately.


For more crime prevention advice, visit Cumbria Constabulary’s website – http://www.cumbria.police.uk/ or contact your local crime prevention officer on 0845 33 00 247.  Barrow's Crime Prevention Officer is Sharon Livesey.

Barrow's David Platt named Special Constable of the Year

Special Constable David Platt from Barrow’s Neighbourhood Policing Team has been named Cumbria’s ‘Special Constable of the Year’.

Special Constable Platt, who joined the Special Constabulary in April 2009, is set to be handed the prestigious award during a Chief Constable’s presentation evening in Penrith later this month. This follows nominations from senior officers for his commitment and dedication to policing the area, and particularly, his service to Barrow Borough.

Special Constable Platt is employed by a local transport company, but in 2008 decided he wanted to make a difference to his local community in Barrow and made the commitment to volunteer for the Specials.
He said: “I have really enjoyed the time I’ve worked as a Special Constable and working in Barrow. I enjoy working with different groups of people and working in all sorts of situations. Being a Special is very different to my day job and gives me a lot of varied experiences, it can sometimes be quite testing but I always feel I am supported by my team in everything I do.
“Since joining the Special Constabulary I have learnt a lot about the work of police and I have enjoyed every minute working on both the Response and Community Officer teams.
I get the opportunity to work in and amongst the local community and have attended several neighbourhood meetings which allow me to listen to the concerns that the people of Barrow are voicing about their local area - and I try to do my bit to help improve the quality of life for local neighbourhoods. I very much enjoy being part of such a close team of people who are always willing to help whenever needed. I feel lucky to be able to live and work in a place like Cumbria.”

Special Chief Inspector Richard Steen was one of the officers who nominated Special Constable Platt for the award. He said: “Dave is a tremendous asset to the Special Constabulary and has been a valued member of Barrow Neighbourhood Policing team since he was appointed.
“His commitment to what is, after all, a voluntary role has been outstanding. His enthusiasm for tackling neighbourhood priorities has been incredible and has not gone unnoticed amongst the community. Dave’s dedication to attending the Safer Stronger Meetings is commendable which has allowed him to identify community issues and then work alongside other Special Constables and fulltime colleagues to plan and organise operations to combat the issues raised.
“This dedications means that he works very long and unsociable hours. It is an honour and a pleasure to get invited to work alongside him.”

Chief Constable Craig Mackey will present the award to Special Constable Dave Platt during the presentation evening in Beacon Edge, Penrith on 24 March 2011.

Cumbria Special Constabulary has just taken part in a National Specials Weekend (from 11-13 February) which was dedicated to dealing with anti-social behaviour and local community priorities. Special Constables volunteered a total of 753 hours of their time over the weekend to take part in several high visibility operations that took place across the county including Operation Bazooka to tackle metal thefts in Workington.

The Special Constabulary is actively recruiting for Special Constables across Cumbria. Can you help make a difference? For further information or an application pack please contact Emma Lynch on 01768 21 7138 or email emma.lynch@cumbria.police.uk  

Restaurant owner jailed for immigration offences

The owner of a string of Bengali restaurants has been sentenced to a two year jail term today after admitting trying to cheat UK immigration rules.

Mohammed Hifzuil Rahman, 46, of The Red Fort Restaurant, Keswick was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to two years after he pleaded guilty to seven offences of facilitating illegal working in the UK.

This result follows an investigation by the UK Border Agency Immigration Crime Team that started back in July 2009. During repeated UKBA visits to Rahman’s three Cumbrian restaurants several illegal immigrants were found to be working and living on site.

Co-ordinated warrants were executed by the UKBA Immigration Crime Team at all three of Rahman’s restaurants in Keswick, Grange-over-Sands and Sedbergh. During the investigation, more than 35 foreign nationals were found to be illegally working under Rahman’s employment. Often these individuals had entered the UK illegally or overstayed their visa.

Rahman was arrested for offences of facilitation relating to employing and harbouring individuals not entitled to be in the UK. He was charged and has subsequently pleaded guilty.

Detective Sergeant Dave Stalker, who works for the UK Border Agency North West Immigration Crime Team said:
“This is an example of a man who disregarded the law in order to profit from employing illegal immigrants who were brought into our communities to work for little or no pay and receive a poor standard of accommodation.
“These issues are taken very seriously and police officers work in partnership with other immigration officers across the North West to ensure we have an effective, joined-up approach to tackling the problem.
“Rahman has earned a living through the exploitation of his staff and by avoiding taxes and national insurance payments that other legitimate employers would have had to pay.
He faces two years and we will continue to pursue him to recover the money he has profited from.”

As part of the investigation, an application was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This has been adjourned for the benefit figure to be set.

Police officers are urging motorists to be vigilant and to keep their vehicles and valuables secure

Police in South Lakeland are urging motorists and tradesmen to be vigilant after £18,000 worth of goods have been stolen from South Lakeland this year.

Since the beginning of January 2011, 15 crimes have been reported to police where tradesmen’s vehicles in the Kendal and South Lakeland areas have been broken into and items such as power tools and sat nav systems have been stolen. The total value of the stolen goods amounts to around £18,000.

Police officers are urging motorists to be vigilant and to keep their vehicles and valuables secure in order to beat the thieves.

Crime Prevention Officer Terry Belshaw said: “Due to the nature of their business, trade vehicles often advertise what they do on their vehicles. This is valuable information to a thief as it indicates what valuables may be stored inside.
“It is sometimes difficult for tools and valuables to be removed from vehicles overnight, and the inconvenience of this means that the majority don’t.
“However, police officers in the South Lakes are urging motorists to be wary of vehicle crime and consider security measures that can stop them falling foul of opportunist criminals. £18,000 worth of goods have been stolen in two months and tradesmen can encounter difficulties with insurance companies if the owner hasn’t taken precautions to secure the vehicle and its contents.”

Police offer the following advice to keep your vehicle and contents safe:
  • If tools cannot be removed from vehicles overnight, then they should be stored in a locked container within the vehicle
  • The vehicle – including the rear area – should be alarmed where possible
  • All valuable items should be security marked and identifiable to the owner
  • The vehicle should be secured at ALL times – even when the owner is in the vicinity
  • Ensure that the locks are up to standard and not broken
  • Consider where your vehicle is parked – and how it is parked. If it cannot be locked in a garage, try and ensure that the rear (or side) access doors are against a wall (e.g. reverse the vehicle onto your driveway)
  • Use security lighting to illuminate your vehicle if parked on your property
  • Consider using a ‘garage alarm’, in the rear of your vehicle if it is not properly alarmed
  • Try and ensure that passers by cannot see into the rear area of your vehicle
Terry Belshaw continues; “Police are investigating the series of thefts and are urging anyone with information, or anyone who is offered tools, power tools or Sat Navs at reduced rates or under suspicious circumstances to contact Kendal police immediately.

For further Crime Prevention advice or to speak to your local Officer, (Barrow's Crime Prevention Officer is Sharon Livesey) contact Cumbria Police on 0845 33 00 247 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”