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End of an era as town’s police desk closes

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans with Coun. Ken Hind outside Clitheroe Police Station.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans with Coun. Ken Hind outside Clitheroe Police Station.
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Clitheroe Police Station’s front desk will close on Thursday.

The closure will leave Valley residents having to travel to Burnley or Accrington police stations to seek face-to-face help.

Colne Police Station’s front counter will also close its doors to the public on Thursday, while Barnoldswick front desk shut it doors to the public in January.

However, police chiefs have stressed that Clitheroe Police Station is not closing and there will be no change to the way in which the area is policed.

Since the announcement that the police desk based in King Street was under threat, officials at Ribble Valley Borough Council have fought to keep the service open, offering to combine the council’s CCTV system with a police front desk system. In addition, Giles Bridge, chair of the Ribble Valley Labour Party’s campaign forum, presented a petition signed by hundreds of concerned residents to the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Grunshaw.

But proposals put forward were deemed as “unviable” by Mr Grunshaw. He said: “This was not an easy decision to make, but years of shrinking budgets have meant Lancashire Constabulary have had to make savings of over £72m. since 2010, with an estimated £18m. in further savings still to find.”

Leader of the borough council, Ken Hind, said: “The Ribble Valley deserves better from its elected commissioner and some of the increase in the council tax should have been used to keep the front desk at Clitheroe police station open.”

A spokesman for Ribble Valley police said: “Clitheroe front counter will close, but please be assured the police station itself is not closing and there will be no changes to the way in which your area is policed. You can continue to contact us online at http://socsi.in/6ubVu, you can also use the yellow phone outside the station or you can call 101.

“Always call 999 in an emergency.”