Fylde’s new head of police has said he wants crime rates to remain low – and has asked for the support of residents to ensure it remains the case.
Insp Mark Thackeray-Scott, an officer with Lancashire Police for 25 years, took over last month from Insp Keith Ogle, who is now based at Blackpool police station.
The force is facing huge funding cuts and Insp Thackeray-Scott said the involvement of residents working with officers was key.
He added: “We are in times of austerity measures. The police force has had to reduce in size. With the resources I have I must make sure they (officers) are as visible as possible and involved with the local community. What I want to do is work a lot more with the local community and get them involved with volunteer work. There has been a reduction in special constables at the moment and a lot more members of the local community can get involved.”
The officer, who moved to the Fylde coast from Lancaster, where he was operations manager, said he understood worries from people about an increase in crime last year, with two armed robberies at the Santander Bank in Clifton Street, Lytham, as well as concerns about officers now reporting for shifts in Blackpool.
He added: “I completely understand their concerns.
“What we do is we have a staggered shift rota. A tidal rota. The shift patterns are staggered – it’s not as if they all return at a set time.
“My job is to ensure officers get straight out, in Fylde areas particularly.
“In terms of travelling criminals, cash-in-transit robberies nationally have been an issue. We target these organised crime groups. We had a spike in incidents at the back end of last year.
“We also saw an increase in burglaries of dwellings. An arrest was made and this saw a reduction in incidents.”
Last week, Insp Thackeray-Scott appealed for the use of a free facility in Lytham as a base for officers, ahead of the station’s (pictured) planned closure in the coming months.