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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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Nuclear role sparks fears for policing

FEARS have been raised that Cumbria police officers will be “stretched” as they are brought in to help police Sellafield site.

An agreement has been drawn up between Cumbria Constabulary, Sellafield Ltd and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary to implement a new way of policing.

However, there are concerns the move will put a strain on Cumbria Constabulary’s resources, which has already been forced to make serious cutbacks.

David Moore, chair of the emergency planning sub committee of the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group, said: “It’s going to stretch the work force of Cumbria Constabulary as they will have the responsibility of investigating criminal and HSE issues, which the nuclear constabulary currently deal with. I would suggest that they are finding it difficult with the workload now and the workload is just going to increase.”

As well as policing the county, Cumbrian police officers will now also have to deal with general policing issues at Sellafield. This has not been done before.

Coun Moore, for Seascale, said: “At Sellafield there is around 15,000 on site, which is like adding another town into the area for the police to cover. It’s right and proper that support is provided for the police for this to happen. As a community we don’t want to find our services dwindling because of the changes. Sellafield sites needs to provide some form of support.”

Previously the nuclear constabulary was in charge of the general policing of the site and its main job was to defend the site from a potential terrorist attack.

Although Cumbria Police will take over the general policing of crimes, it will not be based on site. The nuclear constabulary will deal solely with anti-terrorism issues and the separate guard force will be in charge of checking staff passes.

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “The Memorandum of Understanding will give definite working agreements between Sellafield, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Cumbria Constabulary. By working together, the aim is to provide an enhanced policing response on the Sellafield site. At this time Cumbria Constabulary police officers will only attend Sellafield site when there has been a call for service and it is considered necessary to send a police officer.”

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said there are instances where the separate duties and responsibilities of each organisation overlap, or where mutual co-operation is needed to prevent crime.

Have your say

Ooohh - got a few bites there from our internationally recognised and lauded CNC colleagues.

Go on then, catch me parking illegally another twice and whatcha gonna do? Ban me off site for three months for being a naughty boy?

And I notice you've all managed to learn the phrases "protecting our lives", "keeping us safe" and " we just make it (the job) look easy"

Yes I remember when the loose cannon went off - you very ably guarded the approaches to the site and nothing more.

I just wonder how fast you'd react to a real incident outside of a training exercise.

Posted by Derek on 2 May 2012 at 12:08

Its idiots like derek that give the site a bad name. Also, if the site has 15,ooo people on it, these are local people so the volume of public that cumbria would support remains unchanged. Same old local news making a mountain out of a mole hill to sell a storey, any excuse to use the name sellafield.

Posted by chris on 29 April 2012 at 10:26

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