AN MP has pledged to push for extra cash to care for people suffering with mental health problems in Lancashire to reduce the burden on the county's police.

Ribble Valley Tory backbencher Nigel Evans made the promise after spending a day with officers in Clitheroe.

He discussed a recent spike in crime in the borough including the theft of an ATM from the Spar shop in the town's Edisford Road using a stolen JCB.

Mr Evans said yesterday: “It has been incredibly valuable to spend the day with the police to better understand the issues they face.

"It has been extremely useful to discuss with frontline officers the stresses that they are under and the challenges they face.

"Mental health was a recurring theme during these discussions. Officers explained that there had been a significant increase in mental health detention for vulnerable adults. With many facilities lacking spare beds, the police have been forced to spend up to 48 hours with individuals in hospital. Shockingly, on a typical weekend 12 to 15 officers will be with patients in hospital.”

"I have agreed to work with the police to push for a government commitment that the additional £2billion recently pledged towards mental health funding will be used to ensure there are sufficient resources available locally to care for vulnerable adults."