SIXTY per cent of people in Blackburn with Darwen feel safe where they live, according to Lancashire Police's crime and confidence survey for 2020.

In East Lancashire, 86 per cent of Ribble Valley residents felt 'safe', which is in stark contrast to just over 50 per cent of people living in Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn.

According to the report, which canvassed opinion from those aged between 16 and over 65 from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, 77 per cent of the 16 to 24 age group felt the police would be there when needed, whereas just 52 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds felt the same.

Female respondents (63 per cent) had more confidence in the police being there when needed than males (55 per cent). Those without a disability (62 per cent) were also around a tenth more confident than those with a disability.

County-wide, 59 per cent felt 'confident' in their police service, though only 17 per cent felt 'very confident'. 13 per cent said they were 'not at all confident'.

Rossendale was the only area where less than half (48 per cent) of residents were confident that police would be there when they needed them - with Hyndburn (54 per cent), Blackburn with Darwen (56 per cent), Pendle (56 per cent) and Burnley (63 per cent) feeling more confident.

Those that felt confident in the police has almost doubled from 31 per cent in 2019 to 59 per cent in 2020. There was an increase of around a tenth that stated they were very confident (6 per cent in 2019, 17 per cent in 2020) as well as an increase in those that stated they were fairly confident (24 per cent in 2019, 41 per cent in 2020).

Compared to 2019, there was a notable drop in those that said they were not confident. In 2019, over half (57 per cent) stated they were not confident that the police would be there when needed, this dropped by almost a fifth in 2020 with only 38 per cent that were not confident.

Social media has remained the most popular method to keep informed about policing (62 per cent) although those stating this option have declined by a tenth since 2019 (72 per cent).

In the Know has become a more popular medium to receive information on, with those happy to use it increasing from 26 per cent in 2019 to 43 per cent in 2020. Those that stated they would like to be kept informed via the police website has declined over the past year, dropping from 35 per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent in 2020.

In 2019, local media was seen as the second most popular method to be kept informed about policing in the area with just over half (51 per cent) stating this option, however, in 2020 this option was not provided and was instead split up into TV (23 per cent), newspapers (15 per cent) and radio (13 per cent), which suggests a similar proportion would like to be kept informed through the local media in 2020 as they did in 2019.

In Rossendale, a woman said: "Have more police stations throughout Rossendale as we only have one station and a few officers.

"They should respond to other crimes such as anti-social behaviour, drugs and speeding. I feel when I ring to report it all I get is 'we will get someone to come have a look', but nothing happens.

"I understand the cutbacks but we need more officers in Rossendale as we rely on officers from other areas and by the time they've arrived the damage has been done and criminals have moved on."

A spokeswoman for the 16 to 24 age group in Blackburn, said: "I would say that Lancashire Police do very well at responding to emergencies and they are very welcoming when you see them on the streets, they make you feel safe just by being there. If you had a problem and needed them they are always happy to help."

A spokeswoman for the 55 to 64 age group in Rossendale said: "The police personnel I have met have all been very helpful, informative and dedicated to their job."

Some commented on things that the police can improve on this year, with minor crime, anti-social behaviour as well as improved response times to incidents, improved communication with the public and tackling drug problems.

A female representative for 65 to 74-year-olds in Blackburn said: "Better response times [could improve], though again that is more down to the police not having the resources and personnel required to meet the needs of Lancashire as a whole."

In Burnley, one said: "I would like to see a bigger presence from them but I know they are already very stretched."

A Ribble Valley man said: "More resources are required. I called 999 earlier this month and had to wait 23 minutes for the arrival of the first response that was immediately mobilised during the initial moments of the call. This is because there were no resources in the area."