Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw.
Eric Ollerenshaw.

Last week I had a ‘catch-up’ meeting with the new Chief Superintendent for our area, Stuart Noble, of Lancashire Constabulary to discuss various personal issues that have been raised with me recently but also to get an overview of his perception of how the local police are coping with the changes that are affecting all public services.

He is certainly on top of his job and proud of the ability of his force to continue to provide a great service in bearing down on crime across this part of Lancashire.

With crime still the theme it was great to welcome last Friday, the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, the Home Secretary, to Brookhouse to meet with local farmers, the police and the National Farmers Union to discuss a new initiative that the community is running to tackle rural crime.

Following a series of sheep thefts in Lancashire, it was decided that it would be beneficial to have an agreed action plan in place between farmers, police, auction marts, abattoirs and insurers so that sheep in transit and at auctions and abattoirs can be identified more quickly.

It is always particularly helpful to me when ministers are willing to visit the ‘patch’, as they can see and hear first-hand the issues we face so that when I am approaching them for help they have some idea of both where we are and what we are facing.

My thanks to everyone involved in this initiative, which really demonstrates what can be achieved when we all pull together, but it also enabled us to highlight the nature and cost of rural crime and in particular sheep rustling, which reached a figure of £45 million last year alone.

Finally I managed to get along to Lancaster Boys Grammar School speech day at Lancaster Town Hall to hear ex-Lancaster Grammar school boy Bob Shennan, now Controller of BBC2, give an inspiring address to all of us who attended.

It is amazing how in my job I am continually meeting ex-LRGS boys, many of them who as part of the Old Lancastrians are continually putting something back into this great School.