PLANS to centralise policing across East Lancashire have attracted concern over response times to the Ribble Valley.

From April 1, some officers who currently work out of Clitheroe Police Station in King Street will be required to start their shift in Blackburn or Colne.

Kevin Horkin, who chairs the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said that he was ‘very concerned’ about the potential of lengthily response times.

He said: “I’m very concerned about response times becoming too long if the police are being made to start in Blackburn or Colne.

“The Ribble Valley is a huge area and can fit in the whole of Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn in it with room to spare.

“I want to see evidence of the police testing the response times to see if this is workable.

A police spokeswoman said: “Clitheroe station will remain open to the public. However, some officers currently based there will be required to start work from either Greenbank police station or from Colne police station before patrolling the Clitheroe area responding to emergency incidents.

“Clitheroe will still have a permanent neighbourhood policing team that will work out of, and be based at, Clitheroe police station in the future.

“We will also be increasing the number of officers in that neighbourhood policing team.”