SOUTH Lakeland councillors have approved a plan aiming to make south Cumbria 'even safer'.

The South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership (CSP) plan for 2019/20 has five priorities: protecting vulnerable people; substance abuse and drug supply; violent crime; domestic abuse; and antisocial behaviour.

The CSP is made up of a mixture of public, private and voluntary organisations, aiming 'to reduce crime and enable local communities to remain safe and reassured, without fear, or threat, of crime.'

At a full meeting of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), councillor Suzie Pye, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and financial resilience, told councillors that South Lakeland was one of the safest places in the country but could be safer.

She said: "The plan identifies clear aims and objectives, and crucially it sets out practical ways of delivering on those five priorities.

“The key message is that prevention plays a vital role in tackling these issues.

"For example, rather than dealing with the aftermath of alcohol-related crime, it’s better to improve education about alcohol misuse, and work with licensees to reduce the likelihood of alcohol related crimes happening in the first instance."

Planned CSP action for the coming year includes encouraging victims of crime to consider using free-to-use restorative justice services, and supporting victims of violence through partnership working.