Police operation stops riot violence in local towns

London riots in August 2011
London riots in August 2011
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Police undertook a major operation across Chorley and South Ribble to prevent the riots in London and other major cities spreading to the area.

Thousands of people were arrested after a wave of rioting, looting and arson spread from London to parts of the East and West Midlands, Merseyside, Bristol, Manchester and Gloucester.

In a bid to stop copy-cat violence, police officers in Chorley and South Ribble joined forces with traders and council chiefs.

Patrols were stepped and retailers were visited and offered security advice.

They were asked to make sure their CCTV was operational and encouraged to make sure any high value items were removed from overnight window displays.

A total of 76 Lancashire officers were sent to the capital last week to help tackle the unrest but the operation in Chorley and South Ribble deterred local troublemakers. Speaking on Thursday, Insp David Robinson, of Chorley Police, said: “We have visited businesses, retail outlets and other locations to provide a reassurance.

“There’s no intelligence to say there’s a specific threat but it’s about being vigilant.The traders have been very supportive.”

It was a similar situation in Leyland, where the new police chief said a tough line was being taken against troublemakers. Steve Evans, the Inspector for South Ribble, said: “The protection of our people is fundamental, so although we’ve sent officers to Manchester and London, we’re keeping a close eye on things in our own towns.

“The rioters bring shame on this country, and I hope they’ve run their course. But I’d like to reassure the people of Leyland and South Ribble that we have measures in place to prevent the riots spreading to their towns.”

Malcolm Allen is the chairman of the Chorley Traders Alliance and joined other business owners last Wednesday for a meeting at Leyland Police Station with senior officers and representatives of Chorley Council and South Ribble Borough Council.

Traders were issued with a list of precautionary measures to a take and what to do in the event of trouble.

Mr Allen said: “You just didn’t know where the trouble was going to start next.

“The fear was that it was going to spread to smaller towns like Chorley and Leyland. I think the rain at the end of last week helped.”