Neighbourhood Policing Team Protect Retirement Park Residents

Officers from the Carlisle neighbourhood policing team have been working to protect vulnerable residents of a retirement park following an investigation into threats made by the owner of the residential park.

James Robert Welch, aged 36, of Orton Grange Residential Park pleaded guilty to harassment and using threats to intimidate residents at the retirement park.

As a course of conduct between April and September 2021, Welch threatened the same resident with violence and caused great distress to the victim and his wife.

It was also reported to police that Welch used threatening and abusive language towards a man aged in his 80s, which again caused distress to this victim and his partner.

PC Mark Christie, Carlisle West’s Neighbourhood Policing Team and the investigating officer in this case, said: “Elderly people are traditionally less likely to report crime and can be hard to reach.

“They may place too much trust in those that should have responsibility for them which can make them easier to exploit.”

“It is our job to protect people from such exploitation. It was upsetting that these residents had to endure this type of oppressive behaviour on their door steps and it was unfortunate they had to suffer for so long before the case went before the court.

“We are pleased to have achieved a conviction for the victims and those affected by this case.

“I have enormous gratitude for all of the witnesses and friends who came to support the prosecution on the day at court. I hope that having each other to lean on, made the burden easier to carry.”

Sergeant Pete Aiston said: “’Someone who works on a licensed residential park for elderly and vulnerable people should be ‘fit and proper’ and not be allowed to victimise people who they should take responsibility for.

“We want the residents of Orton Grange Residential Park and all elderly people in Cumbria to know that we will investigate any allegation of criminal behaviour towards you. We will work closely with our partner agencies, including the Crown Prosecution Service, to bring any offenders to justice.

“This is not the end of our work for these residents, we are working with Carlisle City Council to review the license they issue to Orton Grange Residential Park to ensure the residents rights and living standards are protected and the operator of the park is complies with the ‘fit and proper’ criteria.”