Clitheroe Police Station front counter to reopen three years after it closed
Clitheroe Police Station's front desk is set to reopen on Monday (September 20th) - three years after it closed due to cuts to public services.
Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden, has reiterated his commitment to making it easier for residents to contact the police, as the front counter will open from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday.
Both before and since taking office in May this year, the commissioner has promised to ensure each borough area in Lancashire has at least one police station front counter open to the public.
Clitheroe front counter closed in March 2018, alongside a number of other front counters across the county as part of a series of cost saving measures. The station remained operational, but with no public access. The closure left Valley residents having to travel to Burnley or Accrington police stations to seek face-to-face help.
Speaking at Clitheroe front counter, Mr Snowden welcomed the milestone, saying: "I am delighted that we've been able to reopen Clitheroe front counter and reinstate face to face access to the police within the local community. This is something that people told me they really missed and valued and therefore something I pledged to do before I was elected.
“Thanks to the support from the Chief Constable I am pleased we have been able to make this significant change little over four months since I came into office. I hope it sends out the message that I am committed to delivering on my promise to lead the fight against crime and help people feel safer. I strongly believe this is how policing in Lancashire should be; part of the community that police work so hard to protect.
"This is a fair and balanced approach that ensures each borough has access to a police front desk whilst balancing resources against the priority of getting officers onto our streets, getting tough on criminals."
Delighted with the news, Ribble Valley MP Rt Hon Nigel Evans said: "I am absolutely delighted at the reopening of the Clitheroe police station. I know the Police and Crime Commissioner promised this at the election and I am pleased to see that it is being delivered. It will give greater security and service to the local residents. It should never have been closed."
Also happy is Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson, who said: “We have campaigned ceaselessly since 2019 for the reopening of the front desk at Clitheroe Police Station.
“Ribble Valley is the sparsest borough in Lancashire and the closure of the desk placed an onerous burden on our residents, forcing them to travel up to an hour to a public-facing police station. We are delighted at the police and crime commissioner’s decision to reopen the desk, which will improve policing in Ribble Valley and be warmly welcomed by our residents.”
Mr Snowden added: “We still have a lot of work to do to better manage non-crime demand, further improve how we engage with the people of Lancashire and get officers recruited through the Government uplift programme into our communities. However, announcements like today show that we are listening to what the public want from policing as I build on my commitment to work with the Chief Constable to ensure there is nowhere to hide for criminals in Lancashire.”
Clitheroe Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Martyn Holt, said: “The service will operate weekdays from 9am-1pm providing an additional way for local residents to contact us to discuss local issues or make a non-urgent crime report.
“Coupled with the significant investment in our force control room, including the launch of a new dedicated online crime reporting team, it should enable the public to access our services more easily.”
The announcement follows a significant investment and restructure of the force control room, often the first point of contact for the public, alongside a dedicated digital reporting team that manages online crime reports.