Councillor demands more police for Lytham

South Yorkshire Police Officers
South Yorkshire Police Officers

A Lytham councillor says the town is losing out to others in the borough in policing numbers – and has called for more police to be put back on the town’s streets.

Coun Mark Bamforth says Lytham has fewer police than Kirkham, St Annes, and rural areas of Fylde – yet has been hit the hardest by crime in recent years.

Mark said: “We had three armed incidents in Lytham in the space of about 18 months.

“But at our recent Police and Communities Together meeting, our ward policeman revealed he had two wards to patrol, and sometimes has to cover Kirkham and South Shore.

“It’s not good enough. We’ve had one bank raided twice.”

Fylde Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Mark Thackeray-Scott said the town would still be covered.

He added: “The Neighbourhood Team for Lytham are PC Andy Johnson and PCSO Gary Hickman, on odd occasions PC Johnson is required to cover the whole of the Fylde area and in exceptional circumstances would be called into Blackpool.

“Unfortunately the premises at Lytham has closed, this was as a result of a financial review of police operating sites in view of the cost savings that Lancashire Constabulary has had to make.

“The site at Lytham was a base for the officers and not an enquiry desk open to the public, there are a number of facilities around Lytham that have been kindly made available for the team to use to meet the public.

“The cost saving on the rent and maintenance of the building has enabled the force to reinvest that money in officers who provide a visible presence in the town which Coun Bamforth and the public of Lytham want to see.”

Insp Thackeray-Scott added that the last robbery in Lytham was in November 2013, and the culprits were caught.

He said: “We continually monitor crime trends and patterns and if there is a heightened risk further resources will be allocated to target the area.”

But Coun Bamforth said having officers on streets was important: “Having officers on the streets is a deterrent and reassuring for people, especially now as the station is closed.

“There’s a team of five officers and five PCSOs covering St Annes, and Kirkham and Wesham has a team of seven officers and six PCSOs covering the area. I know there are cutbacks but I want to see Lytham get police officers we are due.”