Council leader Ken Hind calls for better rural policing in Ribble Valley

Coun Ken Hind, leader of  Ribble Valley Council
Coun Ken Hind, leader of Ribble Valley Council

An urgent call has been made to improve policing in the Ribble Valley following a spate of incidents in Longridge.

Local councillor and leader of Ribble Valley Council Coun Ken Hind claims there has been “a deliberate retreat from rural policing”.

He cited a recent report of an incident when three youths, one armed with a knife, walked into a house in Longridge and disturbed a local mum and friends.

Coun Hind said there had also been repeated complaints about antisocial behaviour in the town centre,

“Young people are making the lives of pensioners at times unbearable. They are using and discarding so called legal highs and causing disturbance in and around the bowling green and Berry lane.”

He added: “As a community we are deeply concerned about the closure of front desks at police stations in Clitheroe and Londridge and that police officers are called out from Blackburn and Colne not locally to deal with crime on our streets.”

Coun Hind has written to both the Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw to highlight his concerns and call for more cash to be spent on front line policing.

Coun Hind said he was aware his concerns had been passed to the Divisional Commander of police. He added: “We all recognise that police resources have been reduced but the issue is how and where they are spent.”

Insp Andy Winter, of Lancashire Police, said: “The local officers patrolling the Ribble Valley are supported by patrols who come from elsewhere in the Division and there is a policing model which ensures that there is coverage across the Ribble Valley.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said cuts meant 1150 jobs had gone since 2010: “I’m pleased that Coun Hind agrees with me that after eight years of austerity, policing needs investment and would welcome his support lobbying Government.

“Longridge Police Station is still an operational base with officers and PCSOs permanently based there. Members of the public can still contact local officers, engage with local policing teams and gain the help and support they need.”

He said not only the neighbourhood team but other police resources are available when needed.