AN MP has warned that the closure of two police stations in his constituency has left the residents of two towns living in fear of rising crime.

Hyndburn Labour backbencher Graham Jones spoke out during a Westminster debate on crime and anti-social behaviour in small towns.

Batley and Spen Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who called the House of Commons session said: "“There is a perception that the serious crime happens in big cities, but that could not be further from the truth."

Mr Jones said: "I have two towns in my constituency which have recently lost their police station.

"People feel not just a sense of loss, but fear and worry when there is no visible police station.

"Great Harwood and Haslingden have lost their police stations, for the reason that the cuts take place in the small towns. Criminals can see that there is an opportunity to commit crime, so people live in fear."

Junior Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins said: “We recognise the particular challenges smaller towns may face."

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's police commissioner, said: "It is absolutely right that reductions in funding from Government meant that Lancashire Constabulary have needed to look at the ways they deliver the best possible service, but police based on risk and threat to keep the people of Lancashire safe and with the force regularly recognised as delivering a highly efficient service."