EXTRA police officers will be provided in Barnoldswick and Earby as part of a new neighbourhood policing team stationed in West Craven.

The shake-up follows a review of policing by Pendle's new Chief Inspector Richard Debicki.

The number of police officers in West Craven will be increased by a third to provide a further two Community Support Officers (CSOs), an additional Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and a sergeant who will work from Barnoldswick Police Station.

Currently, Barnoldswick has three officers based at its station on Fernlea Avenue and Earby has one police officer and one Police Community Support Officer who work alternate shifts at the station on Victoria Road.

In addition to their community duties, three of the officers will now provide response cover during peak times and will remain in the West Craven area.

At the moment, response cover starts and finishes at Colne.

The changes were announced at a meeting of the West Craven Area Committee on Tuesday.

Chief Supt Debicki, who has been in the post for three weeks, told the meeting he had taken a hard look at the current policing arrangements.

He said: "Clearly for us we have got to keep tackling types of crimes which cause the most concern for people, that is crimes such as domestic burglaries, vehicle crime, robberies and also looking at anti-social behaviour.

"These are all quality of life issues. We want people to feel safe to walk the streets at night.

"We also know people want to know who their local officer is - their name and how they get hold of them. Hopefully, this model proposes to cover all those issues.

"Effectively what we are trying to do is maintain the response we currently have, but also supplement that with a neighbourhood policing team so you have your own dedicated police provision with a sergeant."

Insp Richard Clare added that the new proposal would effectively double the response cover in West Craven during peak times.

Coun David Whipp said: "I think this is very, very welcome news indeed and will be welcomed by everybody who lives in West Craven.

"I believe that the strength of what has been presented to us tonight is the fact that the officers will be very much more dedicated to the patch."

Chief Supt Debicki assured councillors that the community officers would remain in West Craven and not become response officers for other areas.

He added that the proposals would be implemented within weeks rather than months, but could not identify a specific date.

Coun Allan Buck said: "It is good news for West Craven, but let's not forget we are still in a low crime area. Some people can get the wrong idea. We are still lucky to live in that sort of environment."

Coun Chris Tennant added: "We do welcome what has been brought before us. It has been asked for for quite a while, it can't come soon enough. It is what's needed and what has been missing."