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Travel to next town to ‘clock on’ - police told

Absolute waste: Labour candidate Veronica Bennett with South Ribble Labour Group leader Coun Matthew Tomlinson, and councillors Don Harrison, Tony Kelly and Fred Heyworth

Absolute waste: Labour candidate Veronica Bennett with South Ribble Labour Group leader Coun Matthew Tomlinson, and councillors Don Harrison, Tony Kelly and Fred Heyworth

Plans for Leyland’s police officers to start their shifts in Chorley or Preston have been slammed – and have led to fears the town’s police station may close.

According to the plans by Lancashire Constabulary, police officers will have to clock-on and have their briefing sessions at a different station before going to Leyland.

It has sparked concerns for the future of the police station, on Lancastergate - today Lancashire Police said the station would NOT close.

The proposals have also raised questions over how much time officers will actually be able to spend on the streets.

In a further restructuring, Leyland’s police cells are set to close in February.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett, said: “We need our police officers on our streets keeping us and our communities safe, not spending their shift driving between Leyland, Chorley and Preston.

“I worry this is a creep towards closing the station altogether. What an absolute waste after investing in expanding the cells a few years ago.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Leyland police station will remain open to the public. However, officers currently based at Leyland will be required to start work from either Chorley or Preston police station.

“Similar moves are happening elsewhere in the county as we reprioritise where our resources will be based and what we expect them to do.

“This involves bringing more police officers together in fewer bases in order to brief them more effectively and consistently before they go out on duty.

“Regardless of where officers are required to start their shift, every area of Lancashire will continue to have a 24/7 immediate policing response.

“Because we are removing our internal divisional boundaries, we will also be able to respond to incidents more quickly by deploying the nearest available patrol, regardless of what their area is.”

Ms Bennett said: “I have spoken with a number of police officers living in South Ribble. They can’t speak publicly but the message is always the same, they just want to do their job.

“They want to be on the street working with the community, not spending their shift driving between towns, and facing more cuts.”

 

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