Ribble Valley Labour Party members were out campaigning to keep Clitheroe Police Station public enquiry desk open.
A damp and wet Saturday did not deter the campaigners. In just two hours, over 300 residents and shoppers signed a petition protesting at Conservative government cuts to police budgets and the proposed closure of Clitheroe’s enquiry desk.
Giles Bridge, Ribble Valley Labour Campaign Forum chair, said: “We had an excellent response to our petition. We heard first-hand accounts of the results of police budget cuts, including one resident who told us that her family had had to carry out the investigation themselves to track the criminals who had committed theft. The petition will be presented to Lancashire Police Commissioner Clive Grunshaw and MP Nigel Evans.”
Meanwhile, leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, Coun. Ken Hind, believes the rurual borough is vulnerable to crime and has called on Mr Grunshaw to end the policy of retreating from rural policing. He wants to see a fair distribution of police resources.
He said: “We all have difficult decisions to make in government and local government about public spending, but the former Labour county councillor, Clive Grunshaw, is exercising his spending priorities to move resources from predominantly Conservative supporting areas to the urban centres. My deputy, Coun. Paul Elms and deputy chairman of the Police and Crime Panel, a retired career police officer, has calculated that for every £5 collected in council tax for the police from the Valley residents, only £1 is spent in the borough. Police officers who cover the area are based in Colne. An incident in Slaidburn could take the police as long as 40 minutes to respond. As a lawyer practising in crime for 42 years, I can say the message to the professional criminals is that the Ribble Valley is potentially under policed and vulnerable to crime.