LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn met residents in Leyland to discuss crime in the town and talk about local solutions.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw joined the leader of the opposition to speak to around 25 residents at St Ambrose Church Hall off Moss Lane.

The visit came after figures revealed there were 167 reports of crime near the Moss Lane subway, which goes under the M6.

Mr Corbyn said: “They local people are annoyed about the levels of crime in the area. It was good to hear about how local authorities work with the police but we need to get more PCSOs in the community and provide money for mental health services.We meed to try to reduce the opportunities for crime and look at the ways the police resources are being taken up by lack of mental health services.

“The residents I have spoken to were very sympathetic to the feelings of young people and them not having enough to do.”

The visit comes just two months after nearby Leyland train station and surrounding areas were locked down when teenagers armed with knives visited Runshaw College and reportedly attacked a student.

Mr Corbyn said: “We need to educate young people that carrying a knife puts them in danger and it does not protect them. They are more likely to hurt themselves when they have them. We have to reduce the supply of knives and prevent young people getting access to them.

“It is also about being productive with them by giving them youth centres and workers and giving them something to do.”

Mr Corbyn praised one of the local residents, Marguerite Ralphs, for trying to clear her neighbourhood of needles and drug packets in Turpin Green Lane.

Ms Ralphs said: “I was concerned and I just wanted to get rid of the problem with the drug taking. I was very impressed with Mr Corbyn and the consensus was that he listened to our concerns.”

Mr Corbyn, who was joined by South Ribble parliamentary candidate Kim Snape, backed the Labour candidates in the upcoming local elections.

Ms Snape said Labour would increase funding for policing if the party took over South Ribble Council.

Ms Snape said: “I want to thank Jeremy and Clive for coming to visit. We heard some real in-depth insight into the issues people are facing in Leyland. The only way we can tackle those is through proper investment in our police services and public services across the board.”

Mr Grunshaw said he would discuss proposals for CCTV at the subway if the council and residents felt it would help tackle crime issues.