FOR West Lancashire’s new geographic inspector, it’s more a case of coming home than starting afresh.
Insp Christina Shorrock took up the post last Thursday from outgoing Insp Andy Willis, who has moved onto a project looking at risk-based policing.
And it shouldn’t take her long to get to know the patch – as she grew up in Skem.
Speaking to the Advertiser a day into her new job, Insp Shorrock detailed her key aims for the role, discussed her affection for Skem and explained why it is so important people have their say in the election of Lancashire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
She said: “In West Lancs, crime is low and I want to maintain that. I look forward to working in partnership with West Lancs Borough Council and other partners to achieve crime and disorder reduction targets, and with members of the public to resolve local community issues. We will continue to concentrate on the key issues of the borough and continue to protect our borders from travelling criminality.
“I know the area well – I spent many years living in Skelmersdale and also returned to work there for nine months as a neighbourhood sergeant. There is a fantastic community ethos, people who want to get involved in making their communities a better place to live.”
Insp Shorrock was among the influx of families who moved to Skelmersdale after it was designated a New Town in 1961. Her parents set up home in Wheatacre, Old Skem, relocating from Kirkby in 1967 after her mum found work at valve firm Dewrance Dresser on Gillibrands. Insp Shorrock went on to be part of the first intake of 11-year-olds at Glenburn School.
After her marriage in St Paul’s Church, Old Skem, Insp Shorrock moved to Birch Green for 18 months before relocating to the Chorley area due to work commitments.
Before that, she worked in Thorn Colour Tubes, where the Matalan distribution centre is now located, and at Richardson Merrill on Pimbo, now Colgate Palmolive.
After taking 10 years out of work to raise her two children, she worked at Chorley Borough Council and applied to the special constabulary in 1994. She said: “I needed to do something other than being a mum. I never intended joining the force but loved it so much I worked many hours alongside the response teams.”
After three years, she applied to join the police force at the age of 41, going on to spend five years in Preston Central before being promoted to sergeant in Southern Division.
She was later seconded to Skelmersdale for 18 months as a neighbourhood sergeant in Birch Green, Old Skem and Up Holland.
She said: “People might remember me from my time as a sergeant in Skem. My neighbourhood work is what I’m most proud of. I enjoyed working with the community, community reassurance, and for me this role is coming back to that.”
She was promoted in August, 2008, to communications room manager, overseeing Southern Division communications department, where all calls from the public are received. While there, she inherited other departments, including crime and incident management units, and was asked to set up the citizen focus bureau where she was responsible for public satisfaction. She later went on to be a response inspector looking after the 24/7 policing of the division, before being appointed into the permanent role of West Lancs geographic inspector last week.
She begins her new job on the eve of a new era for the force, with the scrapping of police authorities in favour of elected commissioners. The four Lancashire candidates are profiled on Pages 8 and 9 ahead of the November 15 elections.
Insp Shorrock said: “I’m pleased the Advertiser has featured the candidates so people know who they are and what they are going to offer. I would encourage people to vote, as the new police and crime commissioner will shape the policing of Lancashire in the future and it's important people have their say on what that should be.”