Priti Patel's visit to Ribble Valley: 'More bobbies on the beat will make rural communities safer'
Home Secretary Priti Patel visited Clitheroe today expressing her support for Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Andrew Snowden.
And she admitted she was "unapologetic" about cutting crime, pledging to invest in policing in an "unprecedented way".
Meanwhile, if elected next month, Mr Snowden says he will reopen the police station front desk in Clitheroe, which closed three years ago under police budget cuts.
Ms Patel said she was 'privileged' to come to Clitheroe and delighted to support Mr Snowden. She said her absolutely job was to back and empower the police
Speaking to the Lancashire Post, she said she wants to see safer streets and safer communities. She explained: "I say this everywhere I go, I want more Conservative PCCs elected to deliver on our national agenda across regions and at a local level. I'm unapologetic about cutting crime, I'm unapologetic about defending and backing our police in a way in which no other political party is doing. That's what the British public voted for and we are going to deliver."
"As a Conservative Home Secretary, I passionately back the police, believe in the police, stands up for law and order and wants to keep our communities and the public safe, and we are investing in policing in a record way. I need a Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner to work with to deliver on that agenda locally and if residents are calling for more investment in front-line services, then clearly they need a Conservative PCC working with the chief constable that can drive that and deliver that and I will absolutely back them."
Mr Snowden said he was delighted to welcome the The Home Secretary today to Clitheroe. He added: "Her visit is to highlight the importance of electing a Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner she can work constructively with to make Lancashire safer.
"Ribble Valley is the largest rural borough geographically in Lancashire and does not have a police station, which the public can visit. Residents needing to speak to the police in
person have to go to Accrington, Blackburn or Burnley. If elected Police and Crime Commissioner, not only will I deliver improvements in front-line rural policing, I will open up Clitheroe Police Station front counter to the public. The police should be at the heart of the local community keeping our area safe and keeping that connection with residents who need to report crime and feel the police are there if they need them."
He went onto say: "I will work directly with Priti and her team to get the continued investment into Lancashire to recruit more police officers and put more police on the beat - as a visible police presence is crucial to making our streets safer. The fact that Priti Patel has taken the time to come and meet me here in Lancashire shows the relationships I am building, to help me deliver my plan to make Lancashire safer, even before hopefully being elected."
Ms Patel, who is the Conservative Government's head of law, added: "This Government was elected on a manifesto to bring in 20,000 more police officers and we are doing exactly that. "We have 6,620 new police officers across the country, across communities. There are already bobbies on the beat who have been recruited in the last 18 months. We will have more police officers on the beat because I am investing in policing in an unprecedented way. That's a Conservative commitment and that's a commitment we are delivering on. There are now more officers on the streets. I back the police and give them the support they need.
"My job is absolutely to back and empower the police because what we want to see are safer streets and safer communities."
Ribble Valley goes to the polls in local elections on Thursday, May 6th. Elections will also take place for the Lancashire police and crime commissioner, who has responsibility for governing Lancashire Constabulary and holding its chief constable to account. The candidates are: Mark James Barker (Reform UK), Neil Darby (Liberal Democrat), Clive Grunshaw (Labour and Cooperative), Andrew James Snowden (Conservative).