One of the best parts of my role is travelling around the borough, speaking and listening to people; taking on board different viewpoints and making sure that the opinions of Burnley and Padiham residents are heard in Parliament. But it’s also about playing my part to keep our communities safe.
A standout issue has been the problem of anti-social behaviour. It’s something that has been raised with me at numerous surgeries and through the hundreds of letters and emails I receive weekly.
And whilst there are pockets of ASB right across the borough, Padiham in particular has been brought up time and again. That’s something I’ve been working with the police on, alongside pushing to ensure we get our fair share of extra front line police officers from the 20,000 UK wide uplift. Not just for Padiham, but for Burnley town centre too which has also been receiving extra attention. Plus the more rural communities who have a different type of crime and ASB to contend with altogether.
Our Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has been a great ally in getting the focus on Burnley, Padiham and our rural communities. Working with him we’ve secured over 600 new front-line police officers since I was elected. And coupled with the work I’ve been doing in Parliament with the Home Secretary we are seeing tangible results with more officers coming through by the day.
You may recall that in March Lancashire Constabulary was one of only 16 forces from across the country to receive additional funding to support new ‘hotspot’ policing. That’s about identifying problem areas and then flooding it with police officers to come down hard on offenders.
Well this week the money that we secured is being put to action with the launch of Operation Centurion. This will see extra dedicated officers patrolling the hotspots so many have raised in Padiham, to deter ASB and catch perpetrators. That equates to almost 2,500 extra hours of police patrols’ taking place in Padiham over the next 6 months.
Having campaigned hard in Parliament to tackle this issue head on I’m really pleased to see this intervention. People shouldn’t have to put up with anti-social behaviour. That’s why I’m determined to play my part in stamping it out. By having these dedicated ASB patrols, action will be taken against those causing issues at Padiham Tesco, the Leisure Centre, and on the greenway. But as I said in Parliament this week, we can do more and that’s exactly what I intend to do.