LETTER: Police ‘behind closed doors’ in Bank Hall

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After reading one of the local newspapers, I saw an article on residents urged to meet police at PACT meetings.

Well, I would like to say the police really do need to make up their minds on this subject. Here in Bank Hall we have had PACT meeting for a long time, that is until last year when the police team changed the format of the meetings and turned the residents away so they could discuss problems in the area with the agencies behind closed doors.

Let me say to Chief Supt Clive Tattum and Insp. Karen Edwards, this is not police and communities together and should be renamed police and agencies together, and they should not forget just where most of their information comes from – it is not their so-called agencies.

It is my opinion that by doing this here in Bank Hall the police team have shot themselves in the foot and lost a lot of community support.

Now crime will not be reported, but maybe this is what they want to make the area and their figures look good on paper.

Well, believe me, this area is not good at the moment and I should know after living here for 55 years and suffering from anti-social behaviour for 11 years.

So please listen to the people that know and not the people that think they know.

MR BRIAN TOMLINSON

A response from Lancashire Police said: The process in Bank Hall at this time is that residents can attend the PACT surgery (this is an open house) between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – this meeting is advertised on the web and posters in the area. Here police listen to any concerns and obtain information from the public.

There is also an opportunity to speak privately with an officer at these meetings if people wish to do so.

On the same day around 2 p.m. there is a second meeting between police and partners. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss issues raised by the community, discuss ways of tackling the issues and PACT priorities are set for the month.

Insp. Karen Edwards said: “We feel we have a good relationship with the community in Bank Hall and community members are aware they can contact the neighbourhood policing team at any time to pass on information or raise concerns.

“We certainly recognise the importance of information that comes in from local people and recently this invaluable information has led to three warrants being carried out resulting in a number of arrests and drug seizures.

“Dealing with anti-social behaviour is one of our priorities as well as for the council and other partner agencies and processes are in place to identify repeat victims and hotspot locations. We have robust plans which are put in place to deal with these issues and to support the victim. At this time there are no addresses on the Bank Hall areas that are on the repeat ASB list, however, as with any area, there are individual instances of anti-social behaviour which we deal with on a daily basis.”

The date of the last PACT meeting and surgeries was on May 4th and the next one will be on June 1st. These meetings are advertised well in advance. A full 12 months’ worth of meetings are advertised on the internet.”