Lancashire’s police ‘tsar’ will be asked to explain the state of policing in Chorley following feedback from a police forum which has left the town’s MP, councillors and residents shocked.
Concerns were raised about cutbacks – highlighted by Police Community Support Officers’ use of bicycles to do their jobs.
The situation has been described as going “back to the days of Robert Peel.”
However, police chiefs insist they have the resources to protect neighbourhoods.
Ward councillor Kim Snape, who has written to Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Clive Grunshaw, said: “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?”
Coun Snape attended a Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting for the Adlington, Heath Charnock and Rivington area this month.
At the previous meeting for the area in December, police reported a dramatic increase in crime throughout the area.
A Chorley police chief was invited to this month’s meeting to discuss town and parish councils’ concerns over policing levels and resources.
Police Sergeant Andy Bramhall was quizzed on local policing.
Paul Williams, a co-opted member of Heath Charnock Parish council, said: “When asked what police resources were available to the community at present, it was stated that there was no police station, no police vehicles, no dedicated full-time police officer, no police sergeant, there are however two PCSOs whose duty it is to cover our area.
“As there is now no police station in Adlington, the police were asked where the two PCSOs were based, the answer given is that they are based in Coppull – several miles from the area they are tasked with policing.
“When asked as to how the PCSOs travel from Coppull to our area, as there is no police vehicle any more, quite incredibly the answer was bicycle.
“This clearly is not acceptable, not only is it unfair on the officers concerned it is almost a throw back to the days of Robert Peel.”
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle stormed: “Bad policing decisions have been taken.
“I’m insisting the police up their game to ensure there’s better coverage from Adlington.
“A lot of promises were made about the continuation of policing of Adlington when the closure of Adlington police station was made.
“We were led to believe it would lead to better policing, not diminish policing.”
He said officers could not be expected to get from one end of an area to another other without proper transport, and that Adlington was the “front line” of border policing that required better
Mr Hoyle said he would write to Mr Grunshaw and the Superintendent at Chorley Police.
Sgt Bramhall, neighbourhood policing sergeant for the area, said; “Adlington Police Station is closed. The area officer is on a training course and will be back in April, so yes he’s been off.
“In the meantime, if there are any neighbourhood needs that can’t be dealt with by the PCSOs, they are dealt with by officers from adjoining areas.
“If it needs immediate response, it’s dealt with by officers from Chorley. PCSOs are now allowed to use marked police cars, that’s only A-B transport.
“There’s a police vehicle available at Coppull for them to use for extensive inquiries around the Rivington and Anglezarke area.
“Alternatively they can be dropped off by a colleague so they can commence foot patrols.
“They are a very tight knit team.
“They try to respond to all the neighbourhood needs.
“The morale is still there, even if the funding is declining somewhat.”