Figures obtained by Ribble Valley Conservatives show that Ribble Valley Residents on average are paying more Per Head of Population and Per Household than any other Local Authority in the entirety of Lancashire for their Policing.
In response to a Freedom of Information Request issued by Ribble Valley Borough Councillor Ged Mirfin who is also Deputy Chairman of Ribble Valley Conservative Association. to the Labour Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner, Clice Grunshaw the figures provided show that Ribble Valley Residents pay just over £4M toward the Police Precept, £425,170 more than Hyndburn and just less than two other neighbouring Local Authorities: Burnley who pay just £38,320 more than Ribble Valley and Pendle which pays just £134,773 more towards the Police Precept. All three neighbouring Authorities receive much more in terms of Police Resources than does the Ribble Valley.
Former Chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership and a Member of the Management Committee of Ribble Valley Conservative Association Kevin Horkin, states, "it's a Rip Off! At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. Ribble Valley Residents are not getting a good deal from the Labour Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner. If it was a Utility Provider you would cancel the contract and go to another Supplier to meet your needs. Ribble Valley Residents deserve their fair share of resources for the money they're paying."
Kevin continues, "I'm not suggesting that all £4M of the Police Precept raised in the Ribble Valley should be spent here but we should at least receive parity in terms of resources that are given to neighbouring Local Authorities. We have provided c.5.3% of the Total Policing Budget in Lancashire since Clive Grunshaw became the Police & Crime Commissioner. 12 Constables, 6 PCSOs, 2 Police Sergeants and 1 Inspector is a very small Policing contingent for the vast sums of money Ribble Valley Residents pay. It's Premium Priced Policing and frankly we deserve more in terms of resources. It is hardly surprising that Recorded Crime in the Ribble Valley has risen by 31.2% over the last 12 months. The recent spate of break-ins into town centre businesses and the arrest of 3 people on firearms charges following an armed police operation - on the streets of Clitheroe of all places is the thin end of the wedge. Ribble Valley Residents are saying that they no longer feel as safe as they once did. The rise in Crimes of Violence in particular Violence Against the Person, Anti-Social Behaviour and Criminal Damage are making people feel vulnerable. That is why Ribble Valley Conservative Association has asked our Deputy Chairman (Political) to issue a further Freedom of Information Request, this time to the Chief Constable of Lancashire to find out Policing Levels in other Local Authorities and how these have changed over the last 7 years under Clive Grunshaw. It should make for interesting reading."
Councillor Ged Mirfin states, ^I went one step further and linked the Data on the Police Precept to ONS Data on the Population and Number of Households in the individual Boroughs of Lancashire. What the findings tell us is that Ribble Valley Residents on Average pay more per Head of Population: £68.76 and per Household: £159.50 than in any other Borough of Lancashire. This equates to £17.23 or 33.40% per annum per Head of Population more than the Lancashire Average and £38.43 or 32.01% more per annum per Household than the Lancashire Average!"
Councillor Mirfin continues, "Ribble Valley Residents pay on Average £27.27 more per Head of Population than their neighbours in Blackburn who pay the least on average across Lancashire £41.04 - an astonishing 67.54% more than Blackburn residents when they receive much more policing resources. It is a very inequitable situation. it is even more so when one looks at the average for Households where Ribble Valley Residents pay on average £54.05 more than their neighbours in Blackburn who pay the third least in Lancashire on average for their policing - just £105.42 - an astonishing 51.70% more than Blackburn residents. Hyndburn at £105.21 and Blackpool at £100.42 pay even less on average and they have big police stations with fully functioning open police desks to boot."
Councillor Mirfin continues further, "Policing is supposed to be what is known as a Public Good. Everyone pays taxes to receive the benefit of policing. It is accepted that some will receive more benefits than others. but when you receive no benefit whatsoever or a minimal benefit, there is a question mark over why you are paying taxes at the level you are."
Councillor Mirfin concludes, "One of the key principles of policing is that it takes place by consent. That consent is being challenged in two ways. First, the complete independence of policy is being challenged by the Police & Crime Commissioner who is favouring some areas over others at their expense of confidence in the service in Rural Areas.Second, police efficiency is being challenged in Rural Areas by the visible evidence of police action in not dealing effectively with crime and disorder in Rural Areas. Ribble Valley residents deserve enhanced police resources to address the growing challenge of rising recorded crime. They pay enough money for this."