Pressures on Lancashire Police
During his visit to Constabulary Headquarters Clive Grunshaw took the opportunity to outline the impact a lack of government funding was having on policing in Lancashire, at a time when the Constabulary is managing not just an increase in crime, but also non-crime demand including mental health and social care.
Since January 2017 Lancashire has been policing daily protests at the Preston New Road site to ensure the safety of protesters, road users and staff or contractors entering and leaving the site. Clive Grunshaw has been lobbying Government for months over its decision to award Lancashire Constabulary just £1.4 million towards the £6.8m cost of policing fracking site, and it was pointing out to the Minister that this left the force to find the £5.4 million difference from existing budgets, impacting the front line.
Clive Grunshaw said: “I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Mr Hurd and to talk with him about the changing and challenging nature of police demand and to tell him first-hand about the impact of austerity.
“I also relayed to him my disappointment over residents in Lancashire being left to foot the bill for the fracking operation when the decision to allow fracking in Lancashire was made by Westminster and when European cup finals and even Donald Trump’s visit have all seen a much higher proportion of the costs covered, if not all of them.
“On behalf of Lancashire Constabulary and local residents I urged him to consider carefully future requests for support towards operational costs such as fracking to ensure that our police aren’t left short changed as a result of their work keeping people safe at the site.
“It was a positive meeting and I was encouraged by his understanding of the pressures on the service and his appreciation of all the hard work of officers and staff.”
Mr Hurd spent the day speaking with frontline officers at Preston before visiting force headquarters at Hutton where he met with Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and was given a tour of the new Forensic Services Academy.