Cumbria

Kendal police cells closed on weekdays due to staff shortages

Police in Kendal are having to drive arrested suspects on 70-mile round trips to Barrow on weekdays because there are not enough staff to keep the cells open in South Lakeland.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said the move is a temporary measure and would not affect policing in the area.

But some local solicitors fear it could become permanent.

The move is a result of staff shortages caused by sickness and redundancies.

The cells at Kendall will be used at weekends and on bank holidays, police said.

'Concerned'

Solicitor Rachel Broughton said it will affect "virtually everyone who is to be detained for any period of time in respect of all kinds of criminal offences".

She said it will require the two arresting officers to make the trip with each detainee - a process she believes will have a detrimental effect on police numbers in Kendal.

Cumbria Police Federation is said to be "concerned" about the development and talks are taking place to resolve the issue.

It is not clear how long the measure will be in place.

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