'You have the power but you don’t have resources': Lostock Hall police constable's appeal to help highlight under-reported ASB hotspots

A Lostock Hall police constable is urging people to help highlight the town’s antisocial behaviour hotspots as many cases go unreported.

By Laura Longworth
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 4:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 4:23 pm

PC Chris Suffolk made the appeal at a Coffee with a Cop meeting at Lostock Hall Library last night. The officer says more people need to report unruly youths to police to help them crackdown on teenage gangs.

Speaking to community members in attendance who said they feel powerless against yobs, PC Suffolk said: “You have the power but you don’t have resources. All services are underfunded."

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PC Chris Suffolk and Lancashire County Councillor Jeff Couperthwaite, who host Coffee with a Cop at Lostock Hall Library.

The constable reveals resources must be pulled from Chorley or Preston after 10pm when South Ribble Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) finish their shifts at Leyland Police Station.

He added: “People say they are reporting [antisocial behaviour] but I’ll look [on the police system] and there are no reports. Policing is now all data-driven. Where are the hotspots? That’s how it’s driven. If everyone’s saying we’re getting hammered, I hope in the future we might get more resources.”

PC Suffolk, who has been in his current role for six months, says he faces many challenges trying to take disorderly youths off the streets, adding: “I’m here for everybody. I’ve tried to have a rapport with the kids and sometimes I have to work with them.

"There are some kids who are fantastic in school and then go out with their mates and are different people.

“I have been dealing with some of the youths in Bamber Bridge and they have moved to Lostock Hall. They all move around.

“I have before in my role taken a kid home to their parents and said to them that I’ve caught their child drinking this bottle [of alcohol] and the parent has said, ‘Yes, I gave it to them to get them out of the house.’

“Our hands are as much tied these days as anyone else."

The Coffee with a Cop meetings were inspired by a Lostock Hall man’s account of a teenage gang threatening to attack his two stepchildren. Dan Warbrick says several parents have since opened up to him about youths threatening to stab them.

But PC Suffolk reassured community members that despite stop-searching youths in his role, he has never taken anyone into custody for carrying knives.

Also present at the meeting were Lancashire County Councillors Jeff Couperthwaite and Michael Green, and South Ribble Borough Councillors Cliff Hughes, Karen Walton, Jacqui Mort and Clare Hunter.

Chairperson Coun. Couperthwaite, who represents Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, said: “One thing we have realised from tonight is that we need to be reporting, reporting, reporting. We need to hammer this.”

Commenting on Police Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden’s pledge to clamp-down on antisocial behaviour, the councillor added: “What he’s going to do is get more coppers on the beat. We as councillors want more coppers on the beat. We want it, as you all say you want it. I do believe Andrew Snowden when he says antisocial behaviour is one of his six priorities. We will get some action.

“The community can help if we all work together, and let’s get rid of these feral kids.”

To report antisocial behaviour to the police call 101 or visit https://doitonline.lancashire.police.ukWant to see fewer ads? Subscribers to the Lancashire Post get access to the ad-lite version of our website, which features 70% fewer ads and faster load times for a better experience. Find out more