POLICE have denied claims Rishton residents would be turned away from meetings with the local policing team.

Police and Communities Together (PACT) meetings are held on a monthly basis in towns across East Lancashire.

But Coun Ken Moss said the meetings were now held in private because nobody was turning up.

His comments came after residents said they planned to raise the issue of lead and stone theft in the town at the next meeting.

Coun Moss said: “The PACT meetings were widely advertised, and an open meeting held once a month for the public to air grievances and to report crime.

“Then we would hold a private one for councillors. The closed meeting was always very productive, but the public one was very poorly attended.

“In six months, not one person went, so now it’s only a closed meeting.”

But a police spokesman said: “PACT meetings are not closed. If anyone wants to go along, they will not be turned away.”

Coun Moss added: “We have always been told it’s a closed meeting. If the police are saying it’s open, fantastic.”

The next meeting will be from 6pm on Wednesday, February 2, at the Copperhouse Children’s Centre, in Station Road.