Cumbria Constabulary

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Cumbria Constabulary
MottoSafer, stronger Cumbria
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary
  • Kendal Borough Police
  • Carlisle City Police
Annual budget£94 million[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction, England
Map of police area
Size2,634 square miles (6,820 km2)[2]
Legal jurisdictionEngland and Wales
Governing bodyHome Office
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Overseen by
HeadquartersCarleton Hall, Penrith
Police community support officers99
Police and crime commissioner responsible
Agency executive
Territorial police areas
  • Cumberland
  • Westmorland & Furness
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Cumbria Constabulary is the territorial police force in England covering the unitary authority areas of Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness in the ceremonial county of Cumbria. As of September 2017, the force had 1,108 police officers, 535 police staff, 93 police community support officers, and 86 special constables.[4]

The force serves a population of 500,000 across an area of 2,634 square miles (6,820 km2).[2] There are significant areas of isolated and rural community, and the area has one of the smallest visible minority ethnic populations in the country at under 3.0%. Each year, the force's area, which incorporates the Lake District National Park, attracts over 23 million visitors from all over the world (46 times the local population). The area has 67 miles (108 km) of motorway and some 700 miles (1,100 km) of trunk and primary roads.

The chief constable is Rob Carden.[5] The headquarters of the force are at Carleton Hall, Penrith.


Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary was formed in 1856. In 1947 this force absorbed Kendal Borough Police. Less than 20 years later this amalgamated force absorbed Carlisle City Police to form a force broadly the same as today's force called the Cumberland, Westmorland and Carlisle Constabulary. In 1965, it had an establishment of 652 and an actual strength of 617.[6] In 1967 the force name was changed to Cumbria Constabulary.

In 1974 the force's boundaries were expanded to include the new non-metropolitan county of Cumbria, in particular Furness and Sedbergh Rural District.

The Home Secretary proposed on 6 February 2006 to merge it with Lancashire Constabulary. These proposals were accepted by both forces on 25 February and the merger would have taken place on 1 April 2007.[7] However, in July 2006, the Cumbria and Lancashire forces decided not to proceed with the merger because the Government could not remedy issues with the differing council tax precepts.[8]

Chief constables[edit]

Cumbria Constabulary (1967)
  • 1968–1980 : William Cavey[9]
  • 1980–1987 : Barry David Keith Price[10]
  • 1988–1991 : Sir Leslie Sharp
  • 1991–1997 : Alan Elliott[11]
  • 1997–2001 : Colin Phillips[12]
  • 2001–2007 : Michael Baxter[13]
  • 2007–2012 : Craig Thomas Mackey
  • 2012–2013 : Stuart Hyde[14]
  • 2014–2018 : Jerry Graham[15]
  • 2018–2023 : Michelle Skeer[16][17]
  • 2023–Present : Rob Carden[18]

Officers killed in the line of duty[edit]

The Police Roll of Honour Trust and Police Memorial Trust list and commemorate all British police officers killed in the line of duty. Since its establishment in 1984, the Police Memorial Trust has erected 50 memorials nationally to some of those officers.[19]

  • Thomas Jardine was unlawfully killed during election riots near the Market Cross in Carlisle. On the night of 29 June 1841, he was struck with a sailor's 'Life Preserver', a lead weighted whalebone, and died the next morning, 30 June. Two men stood trial for murder, one was convicted of manslaughter and the other acquitted. His assailant was transported to Van Diemen's Land for life. Jardine was buried in Christ Church on Botchergate in the city and lies in an unmarked grave.
  • Constable James Armstrong died on 30 September 1847 making his way back at night from Pooley Bridge to his town of Keswick. He fell over a crag having got disorientated in the dark after losing his way.
  • Cumbria Police Van, 2012
    On 29 October 1885 Pc Byrnes, an officer with the then Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary, was hunting three men wanted for burglary at nearby Netherby Hall. Despite knowing they were armed, he challenged Anthony Rudge, John Martin and James Baker, who had already shot and injured Police Sergeant William Roche. Pc Byrnes was blasted in the head, thrown over a wall and left to die. He was located a short time later and carried to a local inn, where he died on the morning of October 30, 1885. The three suspects were caught, convicted of murder at the Court of Assize in Carlisle, and hanged in Carlisle jail on February 8 1886.
  • On 3 July 1915, Reserve Police Constable Andrew Johnstone was on duty near Carlisle railway station when he reported to his sergeant that he was feeling ill. He was told to make his way home, but he never arrived and was found drowned in a dammed river in Denton Holme.
  • The force's first, and to date only, murder of an officer occurred on 10 February 1965. Constable George William Russell, aged 36, was fatally shot when, unarmed and knowing that colleagues had already been fired on, he confronted an armed suspect and called upon him to surrender at the railway station in Kendal. Russell was posthumously awarded the Queen's Police Medal for gallantry and a memorial plaque has been unveiled on a wall at Carlisle Cathedral.[19]
  • PC Keith Easterbrook (died 3 June 1993, aged 36) was fatally injured in a road traffic accident, while assisting in a vehicle pursuit, when a van he was overtaking pulled out and collided with his police motorcycle, on the A595 near Workington.
  • PC William "Bill" Barker was killed whilst on duty on 20 November 2009. At night during severe weather and flooding across the county, the officer was directing motorists to safety off Northside Bridge, Workington, which was in a dangerous condition, when the bridge was destroyed by the flood and he was swept away and killed, his body was found on a beach at Allonby that afternoon. Barker had completed 25 years police service and was a traffic officer attached to the Roads Policing Unit based at Workington; he had won a number of awards during his service.
  • Cumbria Constabulary Patch
    PC Nick Dumphreys was killed on duty on 26 January 2020, when his vehicle crashed whilst responding to an emergency call in the Carlisle area. PC Dumphreys was part of Cumbria Constabulary's roads policing unit. An investigation into his death is ongoing.[20][21]


In terms of operational policing, the force is divided into two commands – the Territorial Policing Command and the Crime Command, each headed by a Chief Superintendent.[22]

Territorial Policing Command[edit]

Cumbria Constabulary Area Car

This command is further divided into three geographic Territorial Policing Areas (TPAs) to cover the county, an operational support section and a command and control section. Each TPA is led by a Superintendent and is further divided into districts and then teams for the purposes of neighbourhood policing. The major elements of the Territorial Policing Command are as follows:

North Territorial Policing Area[edit]

Responsible for neighbourhood and response policing across the following geographic areas:

South Territorial Policing Area[edit]

Responsible for neighbourhood and response policing across the following geographic areas:

West Territorial Policing Area[edit]

Responsible for neighbourhood and response policing across the following geographic areas

Operational Support[edit]

Within this section are force wide units which support the TPAs or units from the Crime Command, or provide a specialist service:

  • Roads Policing
  • Firearms
  • Dog section
  • Proactive Support Group
  • Civil Contingencies
  • Collision Investigation
  • Firearms Licensing
  • Safety Camera/Central Ticket Office

Command and Control[edit]

Within this section is the Command and Control Room (dispatch), including the Force Incident Manager (FIM) and the call taking centre.

Crime Command[edit]

This command is responsible for significant investigations and is predominantly staffed by detectives. The command is divided as follows:

  • Intelligence
    • Force Intelligence Bureau
    • Intelligence Analysis
    • Area Intelligence Units
  • Operations
    • Public Protection Units
    • CID Volume Crimes
    • Force Major Investigations
    • Safeguarding Hub
  • Forensics


Cumbria Constabulary is a partner in the following collaboration:

PEEL inspection 2022[edit]

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) conducts a periodic police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) inspection of each police service's performance. In its latest PEEL inspection, Cumbria Constabulary was rated as follows:[23]

  Outstanding Good Adequate Requires Improvement Inadequate
2021/22 rating
  • Managing offenders
  • Investigating crime
  • Developing a positive workplace
  • Protecting vulnerable people
  • Preventing crime
  • Treatment of the public
  • Responding to the public
  • Good use of resources

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cumbria | Home Office". Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service". HMICFRS. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Police workforce, England and Wales: 30 September 2017". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Chief Constable – Rob Carden". Cumbria Constabulary. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  7. ^ "Police force merger is approved". BBC News. 24 February 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Forces back out of merger plans". BBC News. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Death of Former Cumbria Chief Constable". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Former police chief died having done all he wanted to do in life". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Death at 65 of ex-Cumbria police chief". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Police Chief Retires to Take Up New Challenge". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  13. ^ "County's chief constable retires". BBC News. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Stuart Hyde to fight attempt to make him leave police". BBC News. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Cumbria's chief constable to retire a year early". News & Star. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Who is Cumbria Police Chief Michelle Skeer?". Border – ITV News. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Chief Constable – Michelle Skeer". Cumbria Constabulary. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  18. ^ . Cumbria Constabulary Retrieved 25 September 2023. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ a b "Incorporated by Royal Charter the Police Roll of Honour Trust is the official source of the United Kingdom's Police Roll of Honour. Lest We Forget". Police Roll of Honour Trust. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Police officer dies in motorway crash". BBC News. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Police car involved in serious crash on M6 near Carlisle". ITV News. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  22. ^ "Our Departments". Cumbria Constabulary. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  23. ^ "PEEL 2021/22 Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy: An inspection of Cumbria Constabulary" (PDF). His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. 28 April 2022. Retrieved 1 May 2022.

External links[edit]