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Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (Commissioner) David Allen met with Carlisle City Centre’s Community Beat Officer (CBO), PC Andy Beal, to hear more about the positive work being done to tackle local crime issues and concerns.

One of the main pledges the Commissioner made during his campaign for the role was to introduce more local community policing by putting more officers back on the beat and ensuring that the public are aware that there is a named Officer in every community.

Since PC Beal took on his role as CBO for Carlisle City Centre two years ago, he has been continuously working with key partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) within the city centre, including Cumberland Council’s Enforcement and Homelessness Teams and the Local Business Crime Partnership. The CBO also hits the streets with daily high visibility patrols and follow investigations into criminal offences. This work has had positive results for offences such as criminal damage and public order.

Since 1 January 2024, the Carlisle City Centre CBOs have issued seven Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, issued to young people in conjunction with the Youth Offending Team. On five different occasions, a dispersal order has been put in place to proactively deal with the anti-social behaviour (ASB) taking place within the city centre. Currently, 12 youth-ASB criminal offences have been dealt with using out of court disposals to educate the offenders and prevent reoffending and four further criminal offences are awaiting an outcome from Remedi, a restorative justice organisation. The Centre has seen a reduction in ASB by 3.5% year to date, compared to the same time period last year and a reduction by 7.1% over the last three years.

The Commissioner and CBO were also joined by Inspector Andrew Leather and Sergeant Carol Black.

Commissioner David Allen said: “Community policing and visibility of policing is a key priority for me as Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner as well as a resident of Cumbria.

“During my campaign, the public raised with me their desire to see more officers on the beat and I intend to deliver on my pledge to increase this.

“We currently have 59 CBOs and I am eager to increase this so that every town, village and hamlet has a named Officer that they can contact and trust if there are any local concerns.

“Going on patrol with PC Beal allowed me to talk about and see the local issues in Carlisle City Centre, hear more about how the Police are dealing with these concerns and also finding out how I can support Community Beat Officers in their roles.

“In my career as a Police Officer in Cumbria, I was the village Police Officer for Burgh-by-Sands so I understand just how important neighbourhood and community policing is and how it is vital to reducing and preventing crimes, as well as building trust with our residents.

“I look forward to meeting with more CBOs over the next few months and hearing how they combat crime and work with communities in Cumbria.”

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

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

“Anti-social behaviour is a priority for us within the city centre and we understand the impact this can have on people enjoying their time within the city, as well as having officers on patrol as a visual deterrent for this behaviour we have a number of options we can use to address this behaviour.

“This includes Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), Disposal Orders, Criminal Behaviour Orders and Civil Injunctions to target individuals involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“Since January we have issued seven Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, authorised five dispersal orders and have dealt with 12 criminal offences out of court with education to prevent further offending.

“The named officer and PCSO for your area can be found on our website by searching your postcode or address.”

If you wish to report to police you can do so online at Report a crime | Cumbria Police. You can also phone on 101. Always phone 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress.