RURAL areas of Cumbria are suffering from travelling criminals with the county’s police and crime commissioner backing more stop and search powers for officers.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a relaxation of stop and search to make it easier for officers to search people without reasonable suspicion in places where serious violence might occur.

Mr McCall told a meeting with councillors: “They can stop and search all day long for me. I tend to the view that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear, providing stop and search is used within the protocol.”

Mr McCall said he joined a pro-active policing operation in the Alston area last Thursday and they stopped a car containing two men from the northeast, although nothing was found.

“I was there and it even looked dodgy to me,” he said. “They were sent back on their way. That is happening all the time, I just happened to be there. That sort of thing is happening and it’s happening in our rural areas. Beyond saturating the county with police officers, and I wish I could do that but we are never going to be able to achieve that, we just have to keep plugging away.”