CALLS have been made for more police funding across the county following an increase of more than 10,000 reported crimes over the last year.

The demands come as new figures show an extra 10,498 crimes were recorded in Lancashire in 2016/17, up 10.8 per cent on the previous year.

The rise has led the county's crime tsar Clive Grunshaw to call for more funding for the force.

Since 2010 the force has seen £76million of cuts from its budget and lost 800 police officers and nearly 500 police staff.

But the comments have sparked a row after Pendle's Tory MP Andrew Stephenson said the police and crime commissioner should 'step aside and let someone else take the job if he cannot cope.'

And the home office said the forces funding will increase by more than £6million next year 'if the police and crime commissioner uses his council precept flexibility', while in March 2017, the force had reserves of £46.7million.

Labour's Hyndburn MP Graham Jones backed the crime tsar and bemoaned cuts to frontline policing as 'staggering' and said crime is seeing a 'considerable' rise in the area.

Data shows there were 107,610 recorded crimes in 2016/17 compared to just 97,112 in 2015/16 and 92,559 in 2014/15,

The findings were revealed in the latest Office for National Statistics figures.

Mr Grunshaw said: "The context of our challenge is very similar to last year. The cuts haven't gone away.

"What that means for the service is an increase in demand. In 2017 we have seen an increase in recorded crime.

"That is something that hasn't happened for a number of years. This is not something that is just happening in Lancashire.

"Every police force has seen an increase in crime . Statistically, Lancashire is below the national average but we have still seen a significant increase. That is a major concern for us.

"But it's not just about crime. Crime is not a major part of what the police do. It's about working to support and making communities safer. It's the increase in non-crime demand which is overstretching the service.

"We have major concerns about the demand on the 101 non-emergency service and the ability of the public to get through."

A further £13.4million in savings will have to be found between 2017/18 and 2019/20 if the force is to deliver a balanced budget.

Mr Grunshaw said the force is now at a 'critical stage' in being able to find the resources to help the government tackle its key priorities of counter terrorism, serious and organised crime, modern day slavery, child sexual exploitation and cyber crime.

Labour Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: "Crime was falling because of Labour's policies.

"Predictably it’s on the rise as it always does under the Tories.

"The cuts to frontline policing are staggering, public safety is being compromised but Theresa May’s Tories don’t understand and keep cutting away at police budgets.

"Hyndburn has seen rising crime levels. Anti-social behaviour and acquisitive crime including robbing vans and burglary is going up considerably.

"The government needs to end police austerity and return funding to the levels of Labour government."

Tory Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: "The national crime survey, the accepted method of recognising how much crime takes place, shows that crime is falling.

"The government have protected the police budget so there are no cuts if resources are managed effectively.

"It Clive Grunshaw feels he cannot cope then maybe he should step aside and let someone else take the job."

Mr Grunshaw said new chief constable Andy Rhodes has got proposals about what can be changed to make the service more accessible to the public, such as using social media and the internet.

He also said that around 25 per cent of calls to the service are from victims checking on the progress of their investigation and it is hoped by offering alternative options it will free up call handlers.

However, the police and crime commissioner said despite budget pressures, there are no plans to scrap PCSOs and the force is looking to hire a number of new ones in the New Year to fill current vacancies.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Police forces have the resources they need to do their vital work. Crimes traditionally measured by the Independent Crime Survey for England and Wales are down by almost 40 per cent since 2010 and by 70 per cent since their peak in 1995.

“We have worked closely with forces and announced a comprehensive funding settlement for next year, which means funding for local, national and counter terrorism police will increase by up to £450m. Lancashire Police’s funding will increase by more than £6million next year if the Police and Crime Commissioner uses his council precept flexibility.

"In March 2017, Lancashire Police had reserves of £46.7m.

"The Government is also clear police forces can improve productivity and increase efficiency. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Fire Service has said forces can be more ambitious with their plans to reform.”