Prostitution, child sex crimes and yob-fuelled nuisance are the biggest concerns among the people of Blackpool, according to the county’s policing chief.
Clive Grunshaw, who has now been Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for six months said residents have also told him a more visible police force is a must.
And he says fears around child exploitation and street sex workers are more pronounced here than anywhere else in the county.
“It’s interesting going around Lancashire and speaking to people in the very diverse county, which is urban, rural and ethnic as well,” he said.
“ When you ask people to identify their priorities, quite often they are similar, revolving around anti-social behaviour, domestic violence issues and visible policing. Blackpool is no different, though its priorities are in a slightly different order.”
He added: “Issues have been raised around prostitution and child exploitation. But it’s mostly about anti-social behaviour such as drinking in the streets and issues like that.”
Figures released at the start of this year for the period between April and November 2012 – Blackpool’s peak summer season – revealed sex offences had fallen compared to the previous year, anti-social behaviour was down 14 per cent and crime overall was down by 6.5 per cent.
But the statistics also revealed violent crime increased by 1.2 per cent – 251 more crimes.
Mr Grunshaw said now the priorities have been identified, he would be working with the Community Safety Partnership to make sure the resources were in place to deal with them.
The commissioner also praised Blackpool’s Community Safety Partnership.
“Blackpool’s partnership is one of the best I’ve seen,” he said.
“It’s a great example of good practice in Lancashire.”
Mr Grunshaw has been working for the past six months on visiting Lancashire towns and speaking with the public. The priorities identified have been put into a Police and Crime Plan, and, he says, will now be acted upon.
He said: “It will be successful if we deliver what the public has told us to do.
“I think the public recognises the Police and Crime Commissioner is here to work for the public of Lancashire and can make a difference.”
The commissioner is still waiting for the outcome of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commissions into his expenses, claimed in December last year.
He said: “I am not able to comment as the investigation is ongoing, but I am looking forward to the outcome and conclusion of the investigation and moving on from there.”