Residents in Fleetwood have spoke out in frustration at a public meeting about crime in the town.
Some of them said they felt police were not dealing properly with reports of serious crimes such as assault, burglary and even one allegation of sexual assault on a teenager.
The session, organised by Fleetwood resident Julie Young Egbine, was attended by Andy Pratt, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Lancashire, and Chief Insp Cara Leadbetter, the temporary Chief Inspector for Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre Neighbourhood Police.
Coun Colette Fairbanks, Julie Young Egbine and Andy Pratt (Deputy Lancashire PCC), with Chief Insp Cara Leadbetter (standing left) and a member of Fletwood’s PCSO team
Julie, 58, said at the meeting: “The attitude of the police in some of these incidents comes across as though they don’t want to know.
“When the mum of a teenage girl reported she had been sexually assaulted, one office said on the phone said that she was lucky she was not in Preston rape centre.
“The girl’s mum was appalled and says the police still haven’t been round to see her.”
Residents also raised concerns about open drug dealing, violent crime and the use of weapons, as well as on-going anti-social behaviour.
Since the meeting, there have been two more serious offences in the town – a 23 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of a robbery at the One Stop convenience store on Lord Street at 9.45pm on Saturday night.
And a man aged 31 has been arrested on suspicion of rape outside the Betfred shop, also on Lord Street, at around 3.30am on Sunday morning.
Chief Insp Leadbetter said at Saturday night’s meeting: “Things aren’t going right and I can see that this is not a bad turn-out for a Saturday evening.
“We have opened the lines of communications. There are dedicated officers in your area and you need to know your local teams and report to them.
“We are new kids on the block, you need to trust our local teams, I promise to maker this better.”
Mr Pratt referred to the recent survey on crime organised by PCC Andrew Snowden and said: “Fleetwood is as important as anywhere else and the bigger picture is that we are putting together a plan for Lancashire, looking at tackling antisocial behaviour, drugs and serious organised crime and dangerous drivers.
“One of the jobs we need to do is to find more police officers and PCOs for Cara.”
Adam Diver, of the Wyre Alliance group, said: “Crime figures in Fleetwood are going up, we’ve had knife crime, guns and county lines drug dealing, this town is not safe.”
It was agreed at the session that further public meetings should be held regularly, each concentrating on particular kinds of concerns, so that they could be discussed more effectively.
Coun Colette Fairbanks, of Wyre Alliance, said: “It was a good meeting but things need to change or we will make our voices heard.”