A NEW community policing base has opened in Sedbergh, to the delight of residents who said they had felt isolated and unsafe.

The base at 72 Main Street is right at the heart of the community, situated above the Tourist Information Centre, and provides permanent offices for Police Community Support Officers Danielle Ayers and Mandy Colman.

The official opening of the base now means that residents no longer have to go to Kendal, 12 miles away, to deal with police matters.

A group of residents formed the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which bought the building, restored it and have made it fit to house the policing team.

Tony Reed Screen, chair of the CIO, said: “We are very pleased that the Cumbria Constabulary have elected to use 72 Main Street as their community office.

“It reinforces the aim of the CIO for 72 Main Street, which has been purchased by the community, to serve the whole community on as broad a front as possible.”

Residents welcomed the new base as many said they previously felt out of touch with the police because of their remote location.

Lesley Alborn, who works in the Tourist Information Centre, said: “We do feel here that we are over the hills and far away.

“If the police are going to be here more often it would be excellent as it means you can get hold of them more easily. I feel much safer now.”

Janey Hassam, who lives at Main Street, said that she believed the new base would become ‘a vital part of the community’ by making the police more accessible.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes, who opened the unit, said: “I am impressed by what has been achieved at 72 Main Street and the strong community spirit that is clearly evident.

“The new policing facilities are right at the heart of the community; where it matters.”