Police told to go train elsewhere

Barry Hart at his home in Farington
Barry Hart at his home in Farington
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Barry Hart, 59, of East Street, Farington, has claimed police cars are ‘blasting their sirens’ and racing through the busy streets, frightening pedestrians and drivers.

He said: “I see police cars with ‘training’ written on them at least three times a week in Leyland, but not everyone realises they are just practising, and it causes a lot of panic and confusion.

“I was driving down Hough Lane when one came up behind me recently, and I couldn’t move out of the way because it was too dangerous.

“I was near where the new Wetherspoons is going to be, and there was work taking place there so I couldn’t pull over.

“I didn’t worry too much because I’m used to seeing the training cars now, but something like that makes people nervous, and one old lady was desperately trying to finish crossing the road to get out of the way. She looked scared to death.”

He says the police should practice their techniques in other areas of South Ribble, instead of the hectic town centre route.

“I don’t understand why they can’t they go somewhere else,” he said. “And they should choose times of the day which are less busy.

“I hear sirens all over Leyland, and this has been going on for about three months now.”

Mr Hart, whose work involves fitting conveyer belts at locations across the country, is on call 24 hours a day.

He added that the noise from the sirens is a disturbance when he tries to catch up on his sleep during the day.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “They wake me up a lot, and it’s really starting to annoy me.

“I’m also bothered about the amount of training they seem to be doing because, as a taxpayer, I’m aware that the police force is having to make cuts in the budget, and I think their money could be better spent.”

The training is delivered to officers in the areas they would ordinarily patrol on the job, so Leyland police carry out their exercises in the roads they are based.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “It is imperative that police officers can respond to an emergency situation both safely and effectively and as such, regular police driver refresher training is carried out in towns across Lancashire.

“During any training exercise, the force tries to keep any disruption to members of the public to an absolute minimum.

“However, it is hoped that the public recognise the need to carry out training in as realistic an environment as possible, to ensure that officers are fully equipped to deal with a real emergency response.”

She added: “Whether in a training exercise, or a real emergency situation, police officers will continually make a risk assessment of their environment, taking into account the weather, driving conditions, traffic and pedestrian volume, to ensure that their response is a safe one.

“Public safety is always the highest priority.”