A POLICE chief has dismissed speculation by councillors over the future of community policing in Colne and surrounding villages.

Politicians in the Pendle town had feared that the future of beat bobbies in Foulridge, Trawden and Laneshawbridge was in jeopardy.

Councillors were also concerned that popular police community action together (PACT) meetings could be axed.

But Chief Inspector Jeff Brown, the borough’s police commander, has told the Lancashire Telegraph there are no plans to interfere with PACT meetings.

And once funding is confirmed by Pendle Council, a new PCSO will be recruited to cover the rural fringes of Colne.

In recent weeks Trawden has been covered by Waterside officers, Laneshawbridge has come under Horsfield ward and Foulridge has been combined with Vivary Bridge.

Mr Brown said: “There are no plans to stop the delivery of PACT meetings, at a neighbourhood level. We remain committed to them.

“The question of Home Office funding for PCSOs is now clear, for the next two years. I am now awaiting confirmation of the intentions of district councils, and the outcome of the constabulary-wide review of community policing.”

He said the rural policing vacancy would be filled, once funding had been assurred, but cover would be provided by other areas in the interim.

Councillors are unhappy that the rural post has remained vacant for a number of weeks. The borough council provides £66,000 to fund PCSOs across the area.

Coun Tony Greaves said the borough council would be within its rights to demand part of their funding back, given the lack of cover in Colne’s rural areas.

He added: “Problems with anti-social behaviour in Colne have dropped dramatically over the past five or six years and this is partly because of the work carried out by community beat managers and PCSOs.”

Councillors agreed to call for a meeting with Mr Brown and Pendle police authority members to discuss concerns over community policing.