Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calls for more investment in local policing during a visit to Leyland today

Jeremy Corbyn at today's meeting in Leyland
Jeremy Corbyn at today's meeting in Leyland
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn listened to the concerns of local communities when he arrived in Leyland this morning to call for investment in local policing.

Ahead of the local elections, Mr Corbyn met older people who are fearful of rising crime in the area.

Jeremy Corbyn, with Kim Snape and Clive Grunshaw

Jeremy Corbyn, with Kim Snape and Clive Grunshaw

Labour says billions of pounds have been slashed from the police budgets.

They add that police have also recorded the highest number of offences in a decade and violent crime has doubled and is now at record levels.

Labour says it will invest in community safety and give police the resources they need - introducing 10,000 extra officers to prioritise neighbourhood policing.

Mr Corbyn was at St Ambrose Church Hall, Moss Lane.

He was joined by Clive Grunshaw, the Labour Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner and Kim Snape, the Parliamentary Labour candidate for South Ribble.

The meeting was attended by residents and local councillors.

Mr Corbyn said the Labour Party was committed to 'changing investment and austerity and recruiting more police officers.'

He stressed the need for PCSOs and highlighted how mental health was placing a huge burden on police officers having to deal with such issues.

Mr Corbyn said it was important that local authorities received support in fighting crime, together with community involvement and improved youth services and facilities.

He said: "There is a combination of things we have to do, properly funding youth services, properly funding mental health and properly funding particularly the return of PCSOs as well as police on the streets."

He heard from individual community members who expressed their concerns about a range of issues.

Tom Downey, 61, of Moss Way, Leyland, said in his neighbourhood: "There's regular shop lifting from the shop across the road, we've had a lot of vandalism down the street, there's dog faeces and we've had several attacks in the subway over the road that goes under the motorway. We don't see a police presence at all."

Ex police officer Brian Derbyshire, 68, of Leyland, described the pressure police are put under today as "horrendous"

Asked by Mr Corbyn if he had the same pressure dealing with mental health issues as police do now, Mr Derbsyhire replied: "No, as you say it's not a police issue is it. We were there to safeguard things until the appropriate people came along.

The leader of Preston Council, councillor Matthew Brown also spoke at the meeting, as did Robin Maudsley, of Deepdale community group CRaB, (Communities, Residents and Businesses), who highlighted how his community was helping to alleviate crime issues and make the area a better place in which to live.

South Ribble councillors Ken and Sue, who are among those campaigning to reduce crime at the underpass hotspot on Moss Lane, also gave their views.