Police front counters facing axe in cutbacks

Clitheroe Police front counter facing the chop
Clitheroe Police front counter facing the chop

The front counter at Clitheroe Police Station is under threat of closure, it has been revealed.

Under plans announced by Lancashire Constabulary, the proposals also include the closures of front counters in Colne, Barnoldswick Darwen and Waterfoot and reduced opening hours at Burnley, Nelson, Blackburn Greenbank, Blackburn Town Centre, Accrington and Chorley stations.

The move is set to save the force £1.4m. if approved and the changes would come into force in January.

Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Constabulary, said: "Firstly, I want to reassure our communities this review will not change the way areas are policed. Front counters are not staffed by police officers and this review will not impact on officer numbers.

"Of course these changes are taking place as part of the way the Constabulary looks to manage the continuing cuts to its funding by Government.But it is more than just that, what the Constabulary wants to do is ensure services provide value for money and are delivered in a way that people want to receive them.

"We have to look at how the public want to report crimes and make sure that service receives the investment it needs. The public have been voting with their feet for some time and the front counters proposed for closure serve only three to ten people a day."

Chief Supt Peter Lawson, the senior officer responsible for the review, said: "The Constabulary has conducted a thorough review of the front counter service and it shows their use by the public continues to fall.

"Some of this is due to changes to processes such as immigration checks and some vehicle checks which are moving online, but in the main it is due to improved technology and greater use of phones."