A PROPOSED early response team to cover Burnley has been welcomed by two leading police figures.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported in December how a £6million initiative would draw together police and social services to assist at-risk families.

Burnley and Preston were identified as pilot areas, with 27 posts created in social, mental health and youth work.

Child social care referrals have increased by almost 50per cent year-on-year, prompting the moves.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work completely differently in areas where the demands on all our services are causing real problems for some of our most vulnerable people.”

And county police commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: “Intervening in the lives of our most vulnerable residents and families and providing them with the help they need is vital if we are to avoid greater issues further down the line.”