Pendle’s police chief has apologised and admitted 13 unannounced closures of Barnoldswick Police Station during the summer were “unacceptable”.
Insp. Paul Goodall said sorry in front of councillors at the October meeting of Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee.
Coun. David Whipp told the meeting that on “frequent occasions” the police station in Rainhall Road, Barnoldswick, had been closed without notice, sometimes with a note in the door, sometimes without a note.
Police figures show that there was one closure each in June and July, a peak of six in August and five in September.
Coun. Whipp said: “The police ought to come clean about what is happening.”
Insp. Goodall said there had been a shortfall in assistants in the police’s Eastern Division due to a loss of three staff but that police stations had set opening hours as a point of contact for members of the public.
Insp. Goodall said: “There has been too many closures over this side. There has been movements to try and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I appreciate that the (opening hours) policy might not have been adhered to. I apologise on behalf of the constabulary.”
Insp. Goodall said he had received assurances from senior management that issues were being resolved and on the opening hours for October but admitted he could not definitely say what the situation would be for future months.
Coun. Ken Hartley said the whole contact issue between members of the public and the police needed to be looked at, including the “shocking response” with the force’s 101 line.
He said the public were being “deprived of the services we pay our taxes for” while Coun. Jennifer Purcell was fearful of a “slippery slope”.
Insp. Goodall accepted there was a problem with the service and that steps were being made to sort it out, but could not give a timescale.