Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:30

MP calls for more rural police

Written by  Ruralcity Media
MP calls for more rural police

Lancashire MP Nigel Evans has called for more police on the beat in rural areas.

Mr Evans, who represents the Ribble Valley constituency, said a significant number of incidents involving gangs of youths had recently warranted police to be called.

But by the time the police have arrived, the groups had already gone. The situation was unacceptable, Mr Evans suggested.

"This is a perfect example of the issue that residents of the Ribble Valley have to face where money is paid greatly above the average towards their council tax and other forms of taxation, but receive subpar levels of service."

    See also: More police trained against rural crime

Rural residents contributed a great deal towards police, buses, libraries and children's centres but were not afforded the same level of service given to people in other areas, said Mr Evans.

"It is simply unjust."

Mr Evans said he had spoken to Lancashire chief constable Steve Finnigan to make ensure rural towns have the appropriate level of security before it is too late.

He said: "We do not want to be in a situation where a police presence is desperately needed immediately only to find that this is not possible. Someone could be hurt as a consequence."

Lancashire constabulary insists that it takes rural crime seriously.

The constabulary recently introduced special training for its police officers in a bid to curtail the rural thefts of plant and machinery.

It is not the first time Mr Evans has called for better rural public services.

He has previously highlighted the villages doctors surgeries are further apart and often elderly residents face challenging journeys if current services close.

During recent years, he has been closely involved with campaigns to keep the service at Clitheroe Jobcentre and the Slaidburn Country Practice, a rural GP surgery.

Had the service at Clitheroe Jobcentre ceased then residents in outlying villages would have had to travel to either Blackburn or Accrington, he said.

"Residents of the Ribble Valley pay their fair share of tax, and deserve public services that reflect this," said Mr Evans.

"I am committed to ensuring that the services that are currently here are properly funded and that we get the new services we need."

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