Calls for extra police patrols and the expansion of CCTV after Whalley assault leaves villagers 'shocked and scared'

Business owners and councillors in Whalley are calling for a heightened police presence and extra CCTV after a serious late night assault over the weekend.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:39 pm

Emergency services were called in the early hours of Saturday after a man in his fifties was allegedly attacked outside the Co-op on King Street in Whalley.

He suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital, and following enquiries, police arrested two teenagers in relation to the attack.

The incident has shocked traders and councillors who are now calling for extra police patrols around the village and for the expansion of CCTV.

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Police investigations are ongoing into the incident

Kellie Hughes, who runs Kellie Hughes Hair Studio in the village, has offered to install CCTV cameras at the front and back of her salon. She said: "Something urgently needs to be done so that King Street can be monitored effectively so that trouble makers, particularly those committing violence can be identified helping the police make it easier to apprehend them.

"I spoke to the police and they said that more extensive CCTV coverage is required in the village. I am therefore willing to make a generous offer to locate more CCTV cameras close to my shop."

However, borough councillors, Mark Hindle and Ged Mirfin, who represent Whalley and Painter Wood, are asking officials at Ribble Valley Borough Council to fund the scheme. They said: “We believe it would be unfair for Kellie to bear the full cost of the cameras although it is typical of her selflessness and generosity of spirit. We therefore call on the Parish Council and the Borough Council to get their cheque books out and fund the expansion of CCTV in the village which as the events on Saturday morning clearly demonstrate there is a very urgent need for.”

Ged added: "Whalley is becoming like the Wild West. Someone is going to get killed if something does not get done. I spoke to several people over the weekend who are in a state of shock and disbelief that something like this can happen. We have reached a tipping point.. The need for more CCTV is absolutely clear."

Both councillors would like to go further and put in place a late night levy to fund a dedicated policing resource in Whalley on a Friday and Saturday night.

They added: “We have been told by both the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and the Ribble Valley Community Police Sergeant that even though police numbers are increasing in the Ribble Valley, they cannot permanently locate officers in the village during a Friday and Saturday night.

"A late night levy will be the equivalent of an insurance policy for businesses providing them with assurance that the policing problems of a village which has become more popular and see a higher number of visitors than either Blackburn or Accrington are being effectively managed. This is not the case at present. We therefore call on the Licensing Committee to consider the imposition of a late night levy n Whalley."

Lancashire Police confirmed two boys aged 17 and 15, both from Clitheroe, were arrested on suspicion of assault. They have both been released under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the attack is asked to call police on 101.