Last week, Rory joined a group of rural MPs, including Carlisle MP John Stevenson, who had successfully sought a meeting with Policing Minister, Mike Penning MP, to discuss the proposed changes to the police budget. Rory raised his concerns about rural “damping”, and urged the Minister to protect rural forces from large variations in funding. Rory went on to stress the unique challenges faced by Cumbrian police, and asked the Policing Minister to hold a separate meeting to hear Cumbria’s concerns in greater detail.

Speaking after the initial meeting, Rory said:

“Cumbria is the second largest county in England, our police services are already stretched to their limit. I am keen that the unique challenges of policing an area of 2,613 square miles continue to be met by our hard-working police force who do amazing work, and take great risks to keep us safe. It is essential that police in Cumbria receive the respect they deserve, and the means to carry out their jobs.

Cumbria Constabulary have already made significant savings over the past five years, and have done so carefully and thoughtfully. Nationally the police have achieved significant reductions in crime across the country, with reduced budgets, at a time when so many said crime rates would go up. However, Cumbria has unique needs, and any changes to our formula must take that into account.

My forthcoming meeting with Mike Penning will be a good opportunity for me to seek reassurances from him that Cumbria’s police will continue to receive the support they need to continue to operate as effectively as they do.”

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