MP vows to battle police cells closure

SERVICE CUTS: Leyland Police Station
SERVICE CUTS: Leyland Police Station

A campaign has been launched to reverse a decision to close custody cells at Leyland Police Station.

Bosses at Lancashire Constabulary announced last week the station’s 14 cells would be axed as part of cost-cutting measures.

The move will mean suspects who are arrested in the town are transferred to stations in Preston, Blackburn, or even Skelmersdale, to be processed.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has now urged police to reconsider their decision.

He said: “The police have been given an impossible task by the government to make 20 per cent cuts, while at the same time maintaining frontline services.

“This has resulted in the proposed closure of the police cells at Leyland station.”

The decision was made as Lancashire Constabulary struggles to make £43m of savings over the next four years.

Chorley Police Station lost their custody services at the station a number of years ago, and cells are only used for suspects due to appear at the magistrates court.

Fears have been raised the move will mean officers are spending more time transporting detainees and less time policing the streets.

Mr Hoyle said local magistrates had expressed concerns about the plans and how they may impact on court services.

He said: “I believe the closure of the cells will have a damaging effect on community safety here in Chorley, as officers will spend even longer transporting people to cells at either Preston or Skelmersdale, resulting in less police on our streets.

“The magistrates share these concerns, but are also worried about the knock-on effect this will have on the court service.

“In light of this, I am determined to campaign against this decision and have contacted both the Home Secretary and Chief Constable to ask for this decision to be reviewed.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “The decision to close the custody suite was taken in January, as a result of a review undertaken in response to the forthcoming financial cuts.

“The situation will be monitored closely and may be subject to review again.

“However, we are doing all we can to both protect them from those intent on committing criminal offences without local policing suffering as a consequence.”