Lancashire's new top cop Sacha Hatchett has promised councillors to boost neighbourhood policing starting with a new crackdown on anti-social drivers abusing back roads and 'rat runs'.

At a meeting of the The Lancashire Police and Crime Panel - made up of councillors from across the county - to confirm her appointment as chief constable, she was asked about her commitment to having officers working in local communities.

Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has appointed Ms Hatchett the existing deputy - on for a fixed term of five years and an annual salary of £184,273.

She told the meeting in Blackburn Town Hall on Monday: "I am wedded to neighbourhood policing.

"I absolutely subscribe to neighbourhood policing because I know local policing in areas working with local partners dealing with local issues works.

"We've already put a significant investment into neighbourhood policing in Lancashire.

"We've got over 600 members of staff in local policing.

"However I have ambitions to push that forward.

"I want Lancashire to be the number one neighbourhood policing constabulary in the country.

"How do I achieve that?

"There is some investment so over the next three years my intention is to invest more in neighbourhood policing.

"That in particular is neighbourhood officers in areas.

"But in addition to that I have an aspiration to more than double the number of special constabulary officers that we have because they do a fantastic job supporting our neighbourhood policing model.

"In addition to that because there are three things which really challenge our communities when you listen to the local voices- they will say anti-social behaviour, they will say drugs, and they will say anti-social driving.

"From April we are starting a new operation to target anti-social driving.

"So that's not the strategic road network because we've put a massive investment in the roads crime unit.

"This is the rats runs, the areas where they avoid being able to be seen on ANPR which is causing some real distress to some of our communities.

"Community-driven, community intelligence-led.

"It will be coming in and then we will task out to some of our officers dedicated to a policing operation to see if we can show that we are making a real difference there.

"So those are the three areas I will be focussing on in order to improve neighbourhood policing.

"But please hold me to account on that.

"We cannot do it on our own. We absolutely need the support of our communities but actually I think we can get there."