Ribble Valley businessman accuses top police officers of ‘waving white flag’

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LANCASHIRE’S top cops are being accused of surrendering to spending cuts and “waving the white flag” instead of finding new ways of tackling crime.

Ribble Valley-based businessman Kevin Horkin, one of the candidates for the new post of Police and Crime Commissioner, says senior officers should adopt a more professional and business-like approach instead of complaining.

“Right now everybody has to make the best of what they’ve got,” said Mr Horkin. “In the real world you have to look at what resources you have and channel them effectively and efficiently. Whingeing and moaning wont solve anything.”

His criticism follows comments by Lancashire’s Assistant Chief Constable Chris Weigh, who attributes “inevitable” increases in cases of burglary and violent crime to budgetary pressures and the loss of 500 officers.

Mr Horkin says the ACC’s comments, which have received national publicity, could damage the reputation of the force. He insists Lancashire police should treat the increase in crime as a wake-up call, not an opportunity to surrender.

“It’s no good waving the white flag when there is hard work to be done. Senior officers need to adopt some of the jubilee spirit we are celebrating and keep calm and carry on,” he said.

“It is clear the sooner we have an elected Police and Crime Commissioner here in Lancashire the better. We need someone who will look at things differently and do things differently.”

Mr Horkin says new crime figures, which reveal burglary is up by 8.4% and violent crime has increased by 5.4%, are in stark contrast to the optimistic statistics revealed by Lancashire Police Authority two months ago, when the number of cases burglary and violent crime were said to be falling.

“Everyone was so self-congratulatory back in April. Now here we are in June and suddenly we get the truth, the real picture. Crime is on the increase and we have the deal with it. If senior officers are now blaming a lack of manpower they must look at how well they are deploying staff and what other options are available to them,” said Mr Horkin.

“Have they forgotten that it is their public duty to serve us, or are they simply too busy complaining?”