Opportunity to cop a look behind the scenes

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Thousands of people made the most of the chance to take a look behind the scenes of life at Lancashire Police HQ.

Following the success of last year’s event, force bosses opened up their Hutton base and invited residents to an open day at the weekend.

Mounted branch enter thye arena at the 2nd Lancashire Police HQ Open Week-End in Hutton.

Mounted branch enter thye arena at the 2nd Lancashire Police HQ Open Week-End in Hutton.

Around 20,000 people turned up over the two days as police gave demonstrations of the work they do to keep the county safe.

From investigating crime scenes to watching the police horses in action, there was a wide range of information and entertainment for visitors to the event – paid for entirely by cash seized from criminals.

Chief constable Steve Finnigan said: “It is to give members of the public, who we serve, an opportunity to come and have a look at what it is the police do.

“It brings them up close to us and gives them a bit of an insight into the real variety of things we do.”

The police in Lancashire have a fantastic relationship with the public and the response has been great

The event saw twice as many visitors as last year, with people of all ages eager to take a look around.

But with the heightened terrorism threat facing the country now, safety was a top priority at the weekend.

Chief Constable Finnigan added: “We had to put in place more security this year – people were getting scanned on the way in.”

Lorraine Ellwood, rural policing and wildlife coordinator, was on hand to give visitors an insight into the hard work that goes into protecting communities outside the town and city centres.

Displays at the weekend included sheep, birds of prey and reptiles.

She said: “We were raising awareness of rural and wildlife crime – 74 per cent of Lancashire is rural.

“There is a massive part of Lancashire that suffers a different kind of crime.”

Elsewhere, detectives from the serious and organised crime unit gave visitors a glimpse of the hard work that goes into solving some of the biggest and most complex crimes in the county.

Det Chief Insp Graham Gallagher said: “We have got lots of highly skilled investigators using sophisticated tactics just to keep the community safe.

“This event is around flagging up these different facets of policing.

“We have had a fantastic response –last year we had 5,000 people each day and this year it’s 10,000.”

Detectives’ talks around the work that goes into solving murders, kidnappings and other high-profile crimes drew large crowds at the weekend.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner praised the event, saying: “It shows people the range of work police officers do.

“The police in Lancashire have a fantastic relationship with the public and the response has been great.”

Kim Burford, of Thornton, was at the event and said: “It’s very good. We watched the mounted police and had a look at the forensic display - the boys liked that.

“Youve got everything you could wish to see here – it’s a really good idea.”