Recent events such as the 2009 floods has highlighted the need for improved procedures that kick in quickly when emergencies occur. In the UK, emergency planning is driven by the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act and associated Regulations and Guidance. This requires that the action of the various agencies is co-ordinated through a Local Resilience Forum (LRF), which is based on each police area. You can read more about the Cumbria LRF here. The legislation also requires that risk assessments are carried out to identify local risks and, to aid this process, a National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies has been published, see links here. The Risk Register for Cumbria can be seen here and this rates flue pandemics and flooding as the most severe risks in terms of probability and impact. Facilitated by ACT, the Melbreak Communities held a local meeting in March 2011 on the subject of Emergency Planning and is now going ahead to prepare an Emergency Plan for the valley.
Cumbria Community Messaging is a service run jointly by Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Constabulary, Cumbria Fire & Rescue and Neighbourhood Watch – this is aimed at providing information to individuals by email which you can tailor to suit your own circumstances, eg about local crime risks to domestic properties, farms, hotels, etc. There is a simple registration process on the website.
There are 10 Neighbourhood Policing teams in Cumbria with this area coming within Allerdale Rural, which stretches from Keswick to Silloth. The North Lakeland part of this area is covered from Cockermouth and Keswick Police Stations and any officer from there will deal with incidents in the area. The Community Police Officer can be contacted by phoning 101, which is the number for all non-emergencies. In an emergency, call 999. More details about the Cumbria Constabulary can be found on their website here. There is some information about the former Lorton Police Station and the constables that lived and worked from there at the bottom of the Lorton People page here.
Neighbourhood Watch is recognised by the police as an excellent way to help fight crime. The scheme has now been going for nearly 30 years and, in 2009, there were reckoned to be some 173,000 schemes covering 7.9 million households in England and Wales. There are several different sorts of group, such as Home Watch and Farm Watch, there being some 3,700 such groups across Cumbria. More information is available on the Cumbria Constabulary website here and on the Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association website here. For details of the toolkit telling you what to do if you want to start a group, see here. There is also a national website here.
Health and Ambulance Services
For an urgent GP service outside normal surgery hours, call Cumbria Health on 03000 247247. In an emergency, call 999. In our area, the ambulance service is provided by the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust. There is also a team of Community First Responders covering the area, more details of which can be found here.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is responsible for preventing, protecting and responding to fire in our area. In the event of a fire, phone 999. Useful information on making premises safe from fire and on general fire prevention is available on their website here.
This area is covered by the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team – see their website here.