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New police chief ‘comes home’

INSPECTOR Julian Platt, Accrington's newly-appointed police chief, is delighted with his return to the town after being away for five years.

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INSPECTOR Julian Platt, Accrington's newly-appointed police chief, is delighted with his return to the town after being away for five years.

The inspector this week succeeded Inspector Phil Cottam after he moved on to take charge of Lancashire Constabulary's motorway unit.

After nearly 11 years police service, Inspector Platt, 31, was promoted to Accrington's top job from his post as a Detective Sergeant in Blackburn.

His return to the town is a happy homecoming as he joined the force as a constable, working in Accrington and Great Harwood, before being promoted to Accrington town centre sergeant.

He said: "It's a pleasure to be returning to Accrington and re-establishing my contacts with the public, key stakeholders and police officers within Hyndburn borough."

"Accrington has a history of adopting innovation and being a very forward-looking town and I look forward to continuing this tradition and meeting the many challenges ahead."

The inspector, who is married and lives in Preston, is determined to build on the successes of his predecessor.

"Inspector Cottam handed Accrington over to me in good order," he said.

"There are excellent systems and procedures in place. Initially I want to ensure I'm visible and learn people's views because it's important that people in Accrington have their views considered."

He said his priority is to maintain and develop excellent links with borough "partners" such as councillors, voluntary groups, Neighbourhood Watch schemes and the Chamber of Trade.

Inspector Platt said there are no specific areas of Accrington singled out for special attention but all his efforts will be harnassed to make the town's police force the best around.

He said: "The Chief Constable and Divisional Commander are committed to raising police standards within Lancashire and I feel part of that ambition to deliver the same performance for the people of Accrington."

For Inspector Platt, top-level policing was always an ambition.

He said: "When I was younger I wanted to join one of the discipline services and it was natural to join the police because I was taken with the variety of the job and the importance of working with the community."