More Resources Needed to Combat Crime in the Ribble Valley- Ken Hind Council Leader

Leader of the Ribble Valley Council , Councillor Ken Hind (Longridge  Dilworth) will raise at the Police and Crime Panel Meeting on Monday 2 July  the increase in  rural crime and the failure of the elected Labour Police Commissioner to provide a fair share of  resources for the rural areas particularly the Ribble Valley.

Ken Hind who was  appointed at the Annual Meeting  in May 2018 by the Ribble Valley Council to represent the Borough on the Police and Crime Panel commented, '' This will be my first meeting on Monday and it follows on from the arrests in Clitheroe of alleged drug dealers who are accused of being  in possession of guns, following search of houses in the town.”

''Crime has increased by 31.22% over the last year in the Ribble Valley as the police commissioner strips out resources from the rural areas to transfer to urban areas, leaving wide open rural areas where criminals fear no detection but where the public are not protected.”

''There are a number of features of the rise of rural crime. The first is closure of police station front desks - The Ribble Valley is the largest rural Borough in Lancashire yet both police stations in Clitheroe and Longridge provide no contact with the public as the commissioner has shut the front desks The second is the reduction of police officers in the area although the numbers will go up in the near future due to pressure which has been applied by Conservative Borough & County Councillors And our Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley, Nigel Evans.”

''The third is that calls from the public to the police are answered in Preston. Officers in mobiles vehicles are sent  from Blackburn or Colne to deal with incidents as far away as Longridge.This means response times are long and criminals have disappeared before the police arrive. Policing out of local police stations makes sense where the area is large and the Ribble Valley. Policing rural areas costs more than towns, police officers have to travel longer distances and it is easier for the Commissioner to retreat from rural policing as cuts in services produce larger reductions in the Budget but consequently have a much larger impact on rural areas.”

''Out of every £5 collected in council tax in the Ribble Valley we estimate only £1 is spent on policing in the Borough. Whilst we  accept that all £9 million cannot be spent in the Ribble Valley a much greater proportion,or fair share needs to be spent to deter and detect crime in the many rural villages and small towns that make up the Ribble Valley. Rural burglars and drug dealers in particular need to be brought to boot.”

''Greater resources spent in our towns  Clitheroe ,Whalley and Longridge will contribute to reducing the growth of  anti social behaviour, violence  drug dealing and low level crime generally.”

''If the police central grant is based on the a formula that needs reviewing then we need solutions. Over the weekend I will be meeting Nigel Evans MP and will press him to take action on our behalf at Westminster to press the Home Secretary to review Lancashire's police grant.”

''In the meantime the Council will work with and support the police in the difficult task they perform as we accept that the police officer on the ground can only work with the tools that those in charge of providing strategic resources supply.”