Public safety and the burgeoning weekend night time economy of Clitheroe is under serious threat, according to the town’s mayor.
Coun. Kevin Horkin spent 10 hours on the beat with local police officers last weekend and says it was “quite an eye-opener”.
He claims the high number of boozy revellers from out of town and a lack of police resources needs to be tackled urgently.
“Clearly the vast majority of people who cause problems here are from surrounding towns and not from Clitheroe,” said Coun. Horkin.
“This causes big problems for local police who are already struggling to make the best use of the resources they have. Going out on patrol proved to be quite an eye-opener for me and I suggest other local councillors now do the same.”
During his time on the beat last Friday and Saturday night the Town Mayor spoke to police officers, concerned pub licensees and worried taxi drivers.
“Empty glasses and bottles on the street can become weapons in the wrong hands, this is why some licensees I spoke to would like to see more plastic glasses and more highly visible policing. Taxi drivers told me there isn’t enough on-street parking for them and so they end up picking up fares in the middle of the street. These are just a few examples of how public safety is under threat,” he added.
Although the Ribble Valley is statistically one of the safest places in the UK, the Mayor believes that has made some people complacent.
“We have high quality restaurants where people love to go to eat and some great bars. The burgeoning night-time economy is very important, but we need to protect it now or we will quickly lose it,” he said.
“If people don’t feel safe they will just stay away.”
This week the Mayor takes over as chairman of Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, a group which looks at specific local problems and initiatives. He says his time spent on the beat, which he hopes to repeat every six months, will prove invaluable in this new role.
“I took up an open invitation to spend some time with the police, for whom I have nothing but the highest respect,” he said.
“I found them very open and professional, despite the fact there is limited manpower and an obvious need for more resources. I now intend to lobby for more officers on the beat.
“What I observed will help me to be more effective in my new role as chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership.”