‘Catching robbers is our top priority’

Lytham residents have met to call to keep the police station following the raid at Woodcock's jewellers

Lytham residents have met to call to keep the police station following the raid at Woodcock's jewellers

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A POLICE chief has assured residents an investigation into a terrifying raid is a top priority.

Worried locals expressed their concerns after it was revealed a gang of machete wielding raiders was still on the loose.

But Supt Bill McMahon this week attempted to allay fears saying catching the masked men who burst into diamond specialists Peter Woodcock and Co jewellers in Lytham in August was a “priority”.

He added: “CCTV coverage in Lytham is extensive and we have images of the vehicle leaving the shop and cameras have captured it travelling out towards Preston.

“We continue to investigate the incident, which is a priority for us, I can assure you that.”

The thieves, who fled with a six-figure sum in gems, smashed into the store at around 10.40am on Tuesday August 25.

Officers were sent to the scene and the police helicopter was scrambled.

Officers are appealing for witnesses and are urging anyone with information about the getaway car – a gold Honda Civic – to get in touch.

But residents have intensified their call for Lytham police station to remain open saying the robbery proves officers are needed locally.

A petition is currently being gathered in a bid to keep the station open amid the threat of total closure as a part of proposed economy cuts by Lancashire Constabulary.

At a meeting over the proposed closure between locals, police and town hall bosses on Friday, one resident said: “If we have to call Blackpool how can you guarantee we will get an immediate response?

“What happens if there are several incidents already where police have had to attend and we are waiting 20 minutes while a burglary is taking place.”

Lytham charity champion Mary Wilson added: “If an old lady reports a burglar in her garden will she have to wait for the police to arrive or apprehend the offender herself.

“I know Lytham has a low level of crime but that does not mean we don’t need police visibility and the reassurance of a police presence – the horrendous armed robbery at Woodcock’s shows just how important that can be.”

The public consultation into police station closures will come to an end on Friday.