Cumbria Constabulary

Cumbria Constabulary
Cumbria Constabulary
Logo of the Cumbria Constabulary.
Agency overview
Formed 1974
Preceding agencies
  • Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary
  • Kendal Borough Police
  • Carlisle City Police
Employees 2,151[1]
Volunteers 142[1]
Annual budget £94 million[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Cumbria in the country of England, UK
England Police Forces (Cumbria).svg
Map of police area
Size 2,268 square miles (5,870 km2)
Population 500,000
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Governing body Home Office
Constituting instrument Police Act 1996
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Cumbria Police Authority
Headquarters Carleton Hall, Penrith
Constables 1,488 (of which 142 are special constables)[1]
Police Community Support Officers 99[1]
Agency executive Craig Mackey, Chief Constable
Basic Command Units North, South and West Cumbria
Stations 26
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Cumbria Constabulary is the territorial police force in England covering Cumbria. It is currently the fifth-largest force in England and Wales in terms of geographic area (2,268 square miles or 5,870 square kilometres) but one of the smallest in terms of officer numbers. Given the force area's size and population of just under 500,000, it is relatively sparsely populated. The only major urban areas are Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. These conditions set specific challenges for the force.

There are significant areas of isolated and rural community, and the county has one of the lowest visible minority ethnic populations in the country at under 3.0%. Each year Cumbria, which incorporates the Lake District National Park, attracts over 23 million visitors from all over the world (46 times the local population). The county has 67 miles (108 km) of motorway and some 700 miles (1,100 km) of trunk and primary roads.

The force has over 1,200 police officers, 120 special constables and 800 police staff. The Chief Constable is Craig Mackey. The headquarters of the force are at Carleton Hall, Penrith.

Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, it would have been merged with Lancashire Constabulary. These proposals were accepted by both forces on 25 February and the merger would have taken place on 1 April 2007.[2] However, in July 2006, both Cumbria and Lancashire forces decided not to proceed with the merger because the Government could not remedy issues with the differing council tax precepts that left both forces unable to proceed.[3]



The force is divided into 3 areas called Basic Command Units (BCUs) which provide the majority of policing services to the county. Each BCU is commanded by a Chief Superintendent and is further divided into local policing teams (NPTs) each headed by an Inspector. There are 19 NPTs throughout the force and these units provide the 24 hour patrol officers, dedicated local community beat officers and other local policing services.

The force is presently divided as follows:

North Cumbria BCU containing the following NPTs:

South Cumbria BCU containing the following NPTs:

West Cumbria BCU containing the following NPTs:

There are 26 police stations located throughout the force.

Specialist Departments

There are 9 non-operational departments based at headquarters. These are:

  • Operational Support
  • Finance and Resources
  • Personnel and Development
  • Professional Standards
  • Legal Services
  • Information Technology and Management
  • Strategic Development
  • Partnerships
  • Programme Management

There are also a number of forcewide operational specialist units within Cumbria Constabulary.

  • Roads Policing Unit

The main role of the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) is road policing on the motorway network and main roads. The group has 75 officers located at Carlisle, HQ, Workington, Kendal and Ulverston.

They are highly trained in a number of specialized areas including advanced driving techniques, pursuit management, armed response, speed enforcement technology and transport of hazardous goods legislation.

  • Collision Investigation Unit (CIU)

The Collision Investigation Unit was formed in 1998. It is responsible for dealing with all road deaths throughout the Constabulary area working in conjunction with officers from the Roads Policing Unit.

  • Dog Unit

The dog unit is made up of 18 constables who are handlers for 18 general purpose dogs. Six of these officers also have specialist dogs, such as firearms, drugs and explosive dogs.


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.[4] In 1967 the force name was changed to Cumbria Constabulary.

On 10 February 1965 the force saw its first, and to date only, murder of an officer. 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 a 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.[5]

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

See also

  • List of police forces in the United Kingdom
  • Policing in the United Kingdom


  1. ^ a b c d e [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Police force merger is approved". BBC News. 24 February 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Forces back out of merger plans". BBC News. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  4. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  5. ^

External links

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