As a retired copper still with the interests of the public at heart I was totally disheartened three years ago with the decision of the then Lancs Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw to introduce a scorched earth policy of closing the front counters of many of our police stations destroying vital links with the public and the information they can provide.

I and many of my former colleagues were stunned in disbelief at his decision and found it about as welcoming as the arrival of Greta Thunberg at the opening of a new coal fired power station.

I was therefore delighted to learn that the new incumbent CC Andrew Snowden has remained faithful to his election promise and reversed Mr Grunshaw’s original crass decision which quite frankly displayed a callous disregard for any concept of a traditional policing service depriving our communities of a focal point in our towns.

Both I and the Lancashire public must welcome the reopening of our stations as the reassuring blue lamp has been extinguished for far too long.

Anyone who has tried to call the police to report the sort of low level crime that blights our daily lives will know how hard it is to get more than a token response.

The faceless helpline 101 will remain unanswered concluding in a recorded message advising the frustrated caller to go on line.

I commend Mr Snowden and his deputy Mr Pratt who seem to be making a fist of their new role and would encourage them to make their next priority with the increase in police numbers; that of the reintroduction of bobbies on the beat which in my opinion produces a real result providing peaceful orderly streets where our community can feel safe and walk without fear.

As an illustration I would remind you that the careers of two of the most wicked serial murderers, the Black Panther and the Yorkshire Ripper were brought to a abrupt end by officers patrolling in uniform.

A recent Home Office study revealed that a visible presence of patrolling officers cut crime by more than a fifth.What about it Mr Snowden?

There are times when I have been embarrassed to declare my police background and I am becoming fed up of quips like, “If you want to know the time consult your iPhone!”

At least under the new regime things are moving in a positive direction.Mind how you go...

Retired Det Insp Jim Oldcorn