Extra police numbers are making a difference in Burnley and Padiham | Antony Higginbotham

Policing and crime is one of the issues that gets raised with me most frequently.
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From the speeding cars that shoot down our streets, to anti-social behaviour.

And sadly, there are pockets of our borough where drug dealing occurs, and tackling this and the gangs responsible for it is a top priority for me, the government and our new Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden.

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And to ensure the broader policing strategy does what local residents want, this week Andrew launched a Lancashire-wide survey on what residents want to see in the Police and Crime Plan.

Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

This is a key document for the police, setting out the priorities for Lancashire Constabulary, reflecting the biggest issues that people care about and acting as a tool that Andrew can use as Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the force accountable.

This also came at the same time as confirmation that as part of the national uplift programme for police numbers – the extra 20,000 officers – Lancashire Police now has an extra 276 officers taking the total to 3,264.

I know from my discussions and activities with Burnley and Padiham Police that this is making a difference.

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Our local neighbourhood policing team is bigger and undertaking more activity to deter crime in advance, and crack down on criminals who blight our streets.

I have been out with the police on some of these operations and we should all be incredibly proud of the work they do to keep us safe.

The survey being run by the Police and Crime Commissioner is an opportunity for all residents to have a say in what those extra officers should be doing.

I’d encourage everyone to take part by going to https://bit.ly/3f9WD6Z.

And this wasn’t the only law and order news of the week.

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On Tuesday the Prime Minister and Home Secretary jointly launched the Beating Crime Plan – introducing a tougher approach to reduce crime, protect victims and keep communities safe.

That is the right approach. Prioritising the law-abiding majority and sending a clear message to criminals.

We all know that for too long there have been pockets who have thought the law doesn’t apply to them. How it might somehow be advisory. These are the same criminals who prey on the vulnerable and cause misery to our communities.

Tackling crime must mean getting tough on this – ensuring residents always feel safe and making Burnley, and the wider Lancashire county, the most hostile place for criminals to operate.

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This week has also been the first week of Parliament’s recess.

This is a fantastic opportunity for me to get out and about across the whole constituency – doing much of what hasn’t been possible because of the pandemic.

As part of this I will be running a week-long summer surgery tour.

I have always been determined to be as accessible as possible and for the last few months I have spent every Saturday morning in a local supermarket, or in the community, available to answer questions or offer assistance.

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Recess gives me the opportunity to do that throughout the week, and across the borough.

So, throughout all of next week I’ll be in every corner of Burnley, Padiham and our villages holding 23 open surgeries.

I’d love to meet as many residents as possible, either to help with an issue or just to have a chat.

No appointment is needed for these and you can find out where I’ll be every day by going to my Facebook page, or to www.antonyhig.co.uk/events.

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This role is also about showcasing the very best of our borough too, and talking to those businesses and organisations that make this one of the best places to live.

And so throughout the following week I’ll be doing exactly that.

Meeting the businesses and charities who form the backbone of our communities.

I look forward to meeting as many residents as possible across this recess period.