Crime increases after police station closure

The former police station in Adlington which closed in June 2012
The former police station in Adlington which closed in June 2012
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Anti-social behaviour reports have soared in a Chorley village following the closure of its police station, figures show.

Statistics published after a Freedom of Information request reveals that, since the closure of Adlington police station, total calls have gone from 1,074 in the two years before the Church Street station closed - from June 1, 2010 to June 1, 2012 - to 2,938 in the two years after it closed- between June 2 2012 to June 1 2014.

Lancashire Police said the tripling in the figure could be partly down to how figures are now logged, with people ringing crimes in rather than reporting them to an officer in person at the station.

But Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said the figures were a concern he would be raising with the force.

He said: “Seeing that we have had a significant spike in the number of anti-social behaviour reports certainly raises concerns.

“The question now is what are the police going to do to prevent this from continuing.

“I will be taking it up with them as a matter of urgency.”

Though actual recorded crime is down in Adlington, police no longer class anti-social behaviour as a crime in itself, therefore anything like assaults and burglaries don’t actually get recorded.

Insp Dave Robinson, of Chorley police, said:“We can see that there have been some increases in isolated crime categories but the vast majority have shown some significant reductions over the comparative time frame.

“Overall, all crime has reduced significantly which is most welcome and demonstrates our on-going commitment to the area.”

Insp Robinson added: “To provide some context around the increases in anti-social behaviour, it must be highlighted that police generated activity has increased significantly over the period in question.

“This shows that despite there being no police station, there has been no reduction in the number of officers working in the area and there is a greater emphasis on pro-active policing.

“The increase in reports of suspicious activity also suggests that more calls are now going direct to the switch-board as opposed to being re-ported directly to a member of staff at the old police station, which would not have necessarily produced a log at our central control room.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said: “It is no secret the chief constable and I have had to find significant savings from within the constabulary’s budget, with £60m already being cut since austerity began.

“The decision was made – and I firmly believe rightly so – to make some savings by closing some of the force’s less well-used police stations, rather than having to axe officers and staff.

“The commitment to a strong level of policing in Adlington remains, and overall crime in the area has reduced significantly.

He continued: “Operational policing is the remit of the chief constable, who ensures his officers respond to risk and threat.

“I have spoken with Lindsay Hoyle, the Chorley MP about this issue, and stressed to him the hard work of officers and staff in Lancashire is continuing to pro-actively make sure residents feel safe in their communities.”

In February this year, concerns were raised about policing levels at a Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting for the Adlington, Heath Charnock and Rivington areas.

Heath Charnock parish councillor, Paul Williams, told that meeting that he was con-erned to learn Adlington was receiving police cover from PCSOs from Coppull-based officers on bicycles.