Friday, 27 September 2013

September Blog

Special Constabulary 

It has been quite a busy time for the Barrow Neighbourhood Policing Team - I'm particularly thankful for the commitment and support of the Special Constabulary who assist with so many policing operations throughout the area.

On Thursday 12th September 2013, they took over the policing of Walney for 12 hours. This meant that Walney and Barrow Island benefited from an increased visible policing presence. This proved particularly helpful in supplementing proactive policing of some Anti Social Hotspots in the area.

A happy bunch even on a rainy Thursday 

A timely reminder for the darker nights
I would just like to take this opportunity to remind people that the darker nights are indeed with us and unfortunately this presents increased opportunities for burglars to use the cover of darkness to steal from law abiding members of our community . 
The criminal mind is indeed an innovative one, so please if you see anything out of the ordinary, or just something that needs further investigation, do call us. I can’t begin to tell you how many burglaries I have been to, where some one tells me they did hear something, but didn’t want to “trouble us.” I can assure you, you are not troubling us we are here 24/ 7 for a reason, use us!

Please follow the link for more practical advice .

Cumbria Constabulary Alcohol harm strategy

Alcohol plays a major part in many peoples lives the vast majority using it as a social lubricant, with no real issues. However this is not the case for all, for some people Alcohol is unfortunately a catalyst for disaster, ranging from physical dependency, criminality / ASB and some truly horrible life changing events. 

From the 16th of September the Constabulary has supported 2 weeks of proactive policing focusing on understanding the wider issues surrounding alcohol harm within our communities. Amongst many issues probed was the obvious changes to social drinking ,which have taken place over the last few years .Such as the national economy impact on public drinking and the significant move to drinking in the home. Locally we do much work in the town to reduce violence within what we refer to as the Night Time Economy , but of course none of the safeguards we have there  transfer to private homes , so no CCTV ,no licensing hours , public entertainment license  and no door supervision . However rest assured your local policing team continues to be innovative as we act in partnership with Environmental Health and local Landlords to reduce drink related offending in public or indeed  private. Many tenancy agreements for instance prohibit disorderly conduct , we also continue to revisit every section 27 dispersal offender at home , just to make sure they understand what is expected of them in the future . Section 27 notices formally direct a person to leave the area with those returning or failing to leave being arrested .

Local officers and authorities visit licensed premises ensuring safety for all!

Local Meet and Greet

Held on  Dalton Road on Thursday 26th September, we were again joined by many partners including trading standards, local authority and Cumbria’s Policing Crime Commissioner Mr Richard Rhodes. Thank you to all who supported and indeed took the time to speak to us , telling us about some community concerns and one or two just thanking us for previous good work ! .

A Day in the Life of a Dog Handler

A typical day for Glenn consists of the following;

·         I’ll get up and spend an hour grooming the dogs/cleaning the kennel and run. Then I exercise the dogs.
·         I book on duty with the control centre and then go mobile in the police car which has a special dog cage built in the back.
·         Liaise with the Patrol Sergeant and then check logs for any incidents that have occurred since I was last on duty.
·         Attend the morning tasking meetings or shift briefings depending on what shift I work.
·         Then it’s time to exercise or train the dog again
·         I’ll then go on general patrol where I monitor both the Barrow and Kendal talk groups but if needs be I am available to respond to incidents county wide.
·         If I have been asked to attend any incidents I will attend those, if not I support local officers with warrants, arrest enquiries, public order patrols, school talks, etc.
·         You guessed right, it’s time to exercise the dogs again.
·         Feed the dogs.
·         Put them in the kennels for bedtime.
Then it’s bedtime for me!!! So I’ll be ready to do it all again the next day.

Some extra pics !

Police Community Support Officers about to start a local streetsafe

PCs Mike Brown and Caroline Kendall speak to local youth groups as part of
The  Constabulary Alcohol strategy week .

And finally PC Eric McKinley dividing his time as a community officer and his more specialist role of Public order medic, we have many talented people on our local community team! Many of our Community officers are also Public order trained. 

Thanks very much for taking the time to read our blog, till next time take care.

Mike O’Hagan
Barrow Police Community  Inspector.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

We're back

Decided to do a quick blog , primarily due to there being so much happening. The Barrow Neighbourhood team covers the areas of Barrow , Dalton , Askam and Walney , so we tend to be kept busy.

Firstly many thanks to all who have contributed to our junior citizen scheme. This is probably one of the greatest opportunities that we have to influence our young people , after all they will shape the future.

Here our young people are presented with a stranger danger option , don't worry the woman  on this occasion is one of our own PCSOs - but a valuable lesson is learnt by many ?


Domestic violence , night time economy violence  ,drink driving  anti social behaviour can all be negatively influenced  by alcohol , it might be the choice of poison for the nation but it still needs careful management. Recently I've attended a number of alcohol related meetings among them our own force strategy meeting , the South Cumbria Alcohol Strategy Group and more recently the Barrow Alcohol inquiry .

The historic Kendal Town Hall - where the South Cumbria Alcohol strategy meeting took place , great venue.

The slightly less formal Barrow Alcohol project meeting - getting down to grass roots problem solving , thanks for inviting me and thanks for your views . It does help to know our communities support us !

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Mobile phones 

Antisocial and dangerous misuse of mobile phones continue to plague our roads , so in conjunction with our Roads Policing colleagues , Neighbourhood team , and colleagues from CFRS  (fire service) we educated at least 40 people on the perils of misuse . Particular thanks to Sgt Chris O'Hare for pulling this operation together .

Special Constabulary 

On Monday 24th June, 15 Special Constables received Territorial Policing Commander Certificates of Merit for dedicating over 400 hours of their own time to policing across the South Cumbria area.

 I am indebted for the work the Special Constabulary undertake and was very happy to attend their recent awards ceremony.   Superintendent Mark Pannone and Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson presented certificates . Don't they all look smart and rightfully proud , once again thank you for your continued help .

Social Media 

Recently we held an event where some of our followers got a chance to meet up with a few of our own celebrities namely Police Dog Dexter and some of the Barrow Police authors . Great to meet up with some of our more avid followers . We currently have 5,777 followers , but we would be happy with more , follow us at @barrowpolice 


Very recently I have been looking at our ( ASB ) Anti Social Behaviour  picture , I think its true to say that this has changed significantly, moving very much from youth disorder towards more Anti social neighbour behaviour . We continue to work with the  local authority , landlords, Environmental Health and mediation services in an attempt to effectively remedy such incidents . we will discuss this more in future blogs .

I hope you have enjoyed our blog , hopefully we can use this tool to catch up on local events whilst also  keeping you informed of local concerns. Id like to leave you with just three messages - please secure your property , home , car , shed etc.,drink responsibly and if you do see/ hear  something suspicious let us know.

Until next time , thanks for taking the time to view our blog .

Mike O'Hagan 
Barrow neighbourhood Team Inspector 

Monday, 4 July 2011

Policing has recently featured heavily in the media, for a whole host of different reasons, some themes have prompted discussions, amongst them has been the question- is policing a vocation.

Policing in my opinion is a vocation; I can recall clearly the commencement of my service, via the swearing of an oath. This was a clear indication I had joined an organisation which was different from others. An organisation which would often place itself at risk to protect others. This sense of service, was reinforced at the then Police District Training Centre (Bruche), located in Warrington, this was home for some 15 weeks, it was hard going at times, but equally rewarding .One of my lasting memories was that of our drill Sgt (yes in those days we marched and saluted) a formidable officer and former Marine, telling us that our lives might one day be dependent on the person next to us and that from this day on our lives would change, he was right.

I have been to a number of incidents where the odds have been stacked against us but somehow we managed to assess the risk and deal appropriately. This sense of service together with associated risks is witnessed on a fairly regular basis, but none more so apparent, than when I was a FIM (Force incident manager) .In this role I had the vantage point of seeing all incidents within the force area, having particular responsibility for the initial stages of the more high risk incidents such as police vehicle pursuits, firearms incidents and other similarly demanding situations. Perhaps the most lasting sentiment I took with me from this role was the selfless acts of everyday officers, caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

I can recall a number of occasions when officers had been presented with life threatening risk, by persons under the influence of drugs / alcohol armed with weapons, intent on inflicting harm on themselves or others. I equally recall speaking with such officers who had been hurt and their only sentiment being “I’m ok Boss I’m at the hospital now, but I’m staying on duty, main thing is no one else hurt”

Police Officers deal with risk every day and they do this by placing themselves in harm’s way so that other people, often unknown to them can live in safety. Officers do this, not because they are paid particularly well, but because they have a sense of vocation, because they want to make a difference and because in some way they feel that the wider community supports them in doing so.

When we really need the Police – we are not asked for membership / insurance details- we are simply sent “cops” who deal with the prevailing circumstances. I think our class drill sergeant was right all those years ago; our lives could and for my part have been in each other’s hands from time to time. I am therefore thankful and proud that I work alongside people who share a vocation.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Twittering Sergeants .......

It’s been an interesting month to date with the good weather providing an interesting backdrop for many incidents. Such weather also provides potential spikes for certain types of incidents such as increased opportunities for burglaries, drink driving and assaults with many being alcohol fuelled. You can rest assured our local policing teams are working hard to address such concerns by positive intervention and reassuring local communities.

This time of year also brings about another type of demand as it is PDR (personal development review) time, as the name suggests this basically a Police Officers annual review. This allows me to ensure each officer has their professional objectives discussed and aligned to our area objectives, in this way we all move in the same direction. Every officer is subject to this same process, I have my review with Chief Inspector Gordon Rutherford, mid-May. C/ Inspector Rutherford is new to our BCU but I have previously worked with him whilst at our force Head Quarters, I have always found him to be both professional and approachable and look forward to working with him again. On the subject of PDRs it also never ceases to amaze me as to how innovative and dedicated our officers are, it is a privilege to be their Inspector.

Speaking of innovation two of our Barrow Sergeants are now using twitter to further extend their connection with the public , this should make for some interesting updates as both are very proactive as are their respective teams , I will hopefully feature them in future blogs .

Those of you who live, work or simply visit Barrow may have noticed an increased policing presence on the main routes throughout the town including Abbey and Park Road. This is entirely by design and is part of our desire to Increase our visibility. It clearly sends out a message that we both want to protect the public and apprehend offenders. Coincidentally it also allows us to enforce road traffic law such as with those drivers continuing to misuse mobile phones whilst driving. My shift will in the future, be mounting a local initiative designed to reduce such misuse in coming weeks!

Timely reminder

The latest warm spell provides heightened opportunity for sneak in style burglaries please be careful and follow our most recent lock it or lose it advice. However if you do see or hear something suspicious do please let us know (no matter what the time) you are not disturbing or bothering us. You are however giving us an opportunity to meet up with our criminal clients; this is something we like to do at every opportunity as the relationship can sometimes be a little fraught!

One of our colleagues Sgt Steve Christy (Kendal Patrol Sgt) has recently been temporarily promoted to Inspector, we obviously wish Steve the very best of luck.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A little more about the team

As previously “promised “, here’s some further information about me and the team I have responsibility for. Being a response Inspector means myself and the team work shifts allowing us to effectively support 24/7 policing in the areas of Barrow and Kendal. As an Inspector I am directly responsible for a team of some 20 Constables and as such have the assistance of six Sergeants four being patrol sergeants with the remaining two aligned to custody duties. Together we ensure effective day to day policing for the 2 main hubs of South Cumbria, namely Barrow and Kendal. I am passionate about policing and the service we provide, my intention in the coming months is to provide a little flavour of the type of demands faced by our team.

As a response Inspector I maintain operational responsibility across the area, ensuring policing services are delivered to the best of our ability, in line with our BCU (basic command unit) priorities -more of which in future weeks. I am ultimately accountable for this performance and service delivery - to the Chief Inspector, operations. Fortunately my team (unit 5) are hard working with a fervent desire to be both visible and accessible to the communities we serve.

As an Inspector I have an overriding responsibility to ensure officers are professional, motivated and knowledgeable in relation to their duties, the team shares a simple common aim “to do the best we can at every opportunity”. In my opinion the professional standards associated with policing are none negotiable. The emergency nature of operational policing however makes for a very demanding environment, with police officers dealing with a massive spectrum of activity ranging from routine patrol to dealing with violent individuals intent on causing others and sometimes themselves significant harm.

Unit 5 team is a comparatively young team and is particularly optimistic and intuitive, only last week I asked them to consider making increased use of social networking; this was received positively and in coming weeks will enable me to provide further information about individual officers , which I think you may find interesting. Hopefully I will also be able to share some of the more light hearted moments we come across in our world of local policing, some of which you really could not make up.

I hope you will find my observations both interesting and informing, please consider following me both here and on twitter to gain an increased insight into how we do business on your behalf each day in South Cumbria. Equally if you find this blog interesting you may find the below listed equally informing.

Follow me on twitter -!/InspectorOHagan

Chief Superintendent Paul Kennedy -

Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde -

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Police and use of Social Media

As you are well aware one of the services major ambitions is to effectively engage with the community it serves, social media appears to enables us to both develop and inform our communities, in an instinctive way.

Rebecca (Barrow CDRP) also makes a very good point when she speaks of the “immediacy” aspect of such types of communication. For instance the service sometimes speaks of its difficulty in reaching so called hard to reach groups; this is where SM really comes into its own, allowing total flexibility as to when and how the contributor responds / accesses such forums .

Most people are now accessing social media via smartphones or similar devices, this allows for almost immediate connectivity, something younger generations not only understand but positively demand. Popular analysis seems to support the idea of being forward thinking now, in order to have any chance of capturing/maintaining communication with this group in the future.

I think the service sometimes forgets just how interested the wider community is in what we do and how we deliver services, particularly at times of difficulty. There are now increasing numbers of senior officers such as yourself who are playing a major role in expanding this area of public engagement. Personally I think this style is in keeping with today’s demands and personalises our desire to be approachable, accessible and transparent.

So what do the police get out of S/M, answer (in my opinion) lots, with the main areas being, fast time connectivity with both its public and staff, the ability to seek feedback with regards to how we deliver services / initiatives, to communicate information relevant to threat/ harm including information requests and finally and importantly inform the wider community of our successes which ultimately supports community reassurance.

I accept however, as always there is a flipside to such an open style of communication, which obviously and rightly allows us to be criticised when appropriate. I believe this to be a positive thing as it allows for genuine feedback with regards to the work we do. Personally I am thankful for the Constabulary’s style of leadership which allows staff to feel empowered to make effective use of social media / networking.