From the Minutes Of Meeting Held On Monday, 14 October 2019
The Chairman welcomed the representatives from Lancashire Constabulary, Chief Inspector Ian Jones, Sgt Billy Matthews and PCSO Jillian Reid who would be speaking on ‘the Policing of Aughton’ during Public Question Time.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME – the Chairman adjourned the meeting at this stage and welcomed Mr Clive Grunshaw, the Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner and Chief Inspector Ian Jones
who gave an update on ‘the Policing of Aughton’ since his last visit in May 2019. With regards to the anti-social behaviour issue, he said the police had not been fully aware of what was going on in Aughton and he was grateful to the Parish Council and some local residents for pointing out what was happening, where and when. Aughton ranked high in the County for nuisance and antisocial behaviour but a plan had now been put in place to try and eradicate this.
He had looked at what there was for youth in the area and, although it was not his role, he had gone to the Police & Crime Commissioner for assistance and funding to: • Set up a Boxing Club in Ormskirk. • Set up a New Zone Bus to visit the hotspots in the area. • Working with the police cadets. • Try and educate youngsters through the schools on knife crime, drug use, etc.
He went on to: • Give an update on the serious incident, with the use of firearms, at a property in Back Lane, Aughton. • Noted the problems at the Quarry Woodland, off Delph Lane, on the park off Cherry Tree Lane and the site off Winifred Lane including the playarea, car park, bowling green and Sports Pavilion area. • Give a brief update on the proposed dedicated Task Force of Police Officers to be introduced in West Lancashire to tackle the issues that matter most to local residents, eg nuisance & anti-social behaviour, drug-dealing, etc. • PCSOs were now trained up on pedal cycles and were being trained to operate speed guns. • The introduction of ‘mini police’ – school children to encourage parents not to park on yellow lines outside schools etc. • Finally, the CBM vacancy on his team had now been filled and the officer would be taking up the post as soon as possible.
A question and answer session then took part with the Chief Inspector on various issues including Working with the British Transport Police at both rail stations in Aughton; Mischief Night – all police staff were on duty – problem youngsters to be taken to a dedicated area in Skelmersdale awaiting ‘parental release’; Police/Public Protection Orders; Reassurance to stop antisocial behaviour; Drug taking by youngsters and how the police were trying to deal with the problem, mainly through the parents; Police numbers reduction over the last few years but the force now hoped to get back to the previous level of officers for Neighbourhood Policing – Task Team, Response Team, Neighbourhood Team; Questions on the statistics produced on the Police Website; the problems with the ‘101 service; Suggestions for engaging with young people and the older youths; Aughton Police Station, Neighbourhood Watch & refurbishment of Skelmersdale Police Station.
The Chairman thanked the Chief Inspector and his staff for attending the meeting and said he hoped they would return to Aughton at a future meeting to give a further update on the Policing of Aughton.
Mr Clive Grunshaw
the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, was then invited to speak. He touched on his role as the PCC for the last 7 years and then covered 3 main aspects: • the Budget – cuts in budget, reduction in police officers, policing to threat, harm and risk, cuts on all services. • the Police & Crime Commissioner Plan 2016-2021 which outlined the priorities for Lancashire Constabulary over the coming years, and • the Chief Constable, who was responsible for policing but he was accountable to the Police & Crime Commissioner.
He spoke about the proposed increase in police officers by the Government and the allocation for Lancashire; the proposed introduction of dedicated Task Force Officers to give ‘visibility’, TACOS and the Drone Team, the need to reconnect with the Neighbourhood Force and empower with the community; and finally, Our Lancashire and the Volunteer Partnership to be launched on ‘Lancashire Day on 27 Nov’.
A question and answer session then took place with Mr Grunshaw on various issues, and he responded accordingly. He said local residents could contact him direct through his website http://www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk which also covered in detail many of the issues raised above. The Chairman thanked Mr Grunshaw for visiting Aughton to update local residents on Policing in Lancs.
Minute 11186 CHAIRMAN/VICE-CHAIRMAN/PARISH CLERK’S OCTOBER MEETING WITH THE LOCAL POLICE – a brief report was given on the informal meeting held 9 October 2019 – PCSO Jillian Reid attended.
There had been 21 reported crimes since the last meeting (September, 17 crimes) (August 14 crimes) (July 21 crimes) including 4 domestic incidents, 2 malicious communications, 4 cases of assault, 1 harassment, 4 burglary in a dwelling (Long Lane, Scarth Hill Lane, Holly Lane, Liverpool Road), 3 criminal damage excluding a vehicle (Delph Common Road, Town Green Lane, Delph Park Avenue), 1 case of arson (domestic related), 1 missing from home incident (person found), 1 vehicle crime (Moor Hall).
In Aughton, other than reported crimes, there had been 98 incidents. Discussion took place over the many youngsters on bikes riding around the Parish in the dark without lights on their bikes (dangerous and intimidating). The Public Bowling Green and the rear the Sports Pavilion were still considered ‘hot spots’ now particularly late evening. Pavement parking in Granville Park and Town Green Lane were also reported.