FEARS that crime levels could rise in the borough have been sparked after Lancashire police’s budget was cut by another £20m.
But the force has said it will do all it can to protect frontline policing.
Lancashire Police has seen its initial figure of £43m cuts extended to £60m by 2017.
Are concerned about plans to cut police numbers in Lancashire? Let us know in our reader response form below.
MP Rosie Cooper said the new cost savings could lead to a rise in crime in the borough.
Ms Cooper, who has written to the chief constable objecting to further cuts, said: “This extra £20million of cuts will hit frontline policing hard and we will potentially start to see crime levels rise.”
Ms Cooper said she had been alerted to threats that Skelmersdale custody suite will be forced to close; CID and Target Teams will move out of West Lancashire; and response teams will be merged as a result of the cutbacks.
She said: “Despite having cut £42million from the budget, Lancashire Police have done an excellent job in continuing to keep people safe in their homes and safe on the streets.
“However, this latest round of cuts could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to policing, further demoralising the force.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said the force was looking to restructure and cut some management posts to protect frontline policing.
Changes include reducing the number of divisions from six to three – combining Southern and Central – and reducing the numbers of chief officers and chief superintendents.
Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “Changing our senior management structure in this way means that we can recognise significant savings without impacting on frontline policing or the services we provide to the public.
“As I have said many times, we will do all that we can to protect the frontline during these difficult and challenging financial times and this option allows us to do that.”
Responding to the proposed restructure Cllr David Sudworth, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “Recorded crime in West Lancashire is down and we must all work hard to keep it that way. The police have themselves stated that changing their senior management structure in this way means they can deliver significant savings without impacting on frontline policing. I welcome this commitment to frontline policing.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancs, Clive Grunshaw, said he wanted to see the continuation of high quality policing services and would monitor the situation closely.