Rishton Police Station

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Former Police Station in July 2001.
The police station building in July 2001.
Date plaque above the door at Rishtons former Police Station.

You can read about the Police bye-Laws from 1884, for Rishton here. Rishton’s Police station was first built in 1893; the cost of erecting the building was £1,500.

The original building still remains and is now used by the Lancashire County Council for children with special needs that opened in the building in 1974. (more later)

There is a plaque over the doorway, but this has eroded away with age. The only thing left is the date when the building was first erected, 1892.

The entrance to the building is to the left of this picture, and a big stone column once stood at the gateway with the police station sign in the top.

The building sits at the corner of Howarth Street and its junction with Station Road.

Location of the Poilce Cells.

Although stated in documentation that the building date was 1893, as mentioned above the plaque above the main door shows the date as one year earlier than this, in 1892.

The police cells were located in the rear yard, a total of 3 cells existed; these have been knocked down to make the rear yard so much bigger.

A weighs and measures office was also located in the rear yard. This building still exists and is virtually untouched from his original conception.

The rear yard was split into two sections much the same as the main building was. One half of the yard was used by the police station and the police officers residence used the other half of the yard.

I am told that John Bentley was a Police man for Rishton, born in 1900, he retired in the 1930's. This wouldn't have made him very old, I have to say, retiring at 30?  (ref Anthony Leathert via email June 2006)

In 1911, Sergeant Linaker and PC Adamson, stationed at Rishton, received information that a man wanted for burglary in Lincolnshire was in Rishton. This man was Albert Wright, age 24.5

They went in plain clothes to a house on Burton Street5, and entered the kitchen. The man was sat on a stool and reached inside his clothing for something. It was a loaded pistol.

Weighs and Measures building in July 2001.

The officers closed on him, Sergeant Linaker being hit in the end with the barrel of the pistol5, and a struggle ensued which lasted for five minutes, during which time Albert Wright fired the pistol three times.

One of the shots grazed the Sergeant's ribs, another hit PC Adamson's leg, and entered his thigh5. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He was sentenced to 10 years penal servitude.

When charged in court on Saturday the 4th November, he said that the shooting was accidental.5

Subsequently, the officers were the first Lancashire officers to receive the King's Police Medal for Bravery (K. P. M.) and Linaker was presented with a gift by some Rishton magistrates and councillors grateful for the service he had given to the town. He later became superintendent and his son was to become an assistant chief constable.

Here’s a picture of Rishton’s Special Police Constables from 1917, taken outside the club house at Rishton Cricket club.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan of the former Police Station.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

A representative of the County Chief Constables staff interviewed the Council clerk on the 11th July 1940, regarding a proposed provision of a Police Cleansing Station in Rishton.

The Police Sergeant, Sergeant Ball, was still well remembered around Rishton in 2003. One of the last police Officers in Rishton Police Station, he had a son named David, who married the Cinema owner, and later Harwood Road Garage owners daughter, Joyce Fox. Her father was Billy Fox.

1951 Police Squad outside the Police Station.

Sorry, I don't know any of the names of the above Police Officers, but if YOU do, let me know!

On the 10th October 1940, The chairman of the Rishton Urban District Council reported on the position of the fixing of an electric siren to the Police Station. The clerk was instructed to communicate with the chief constable informing him that it is the opinion of the council that the matter of erection and maintenance were entirely a police matter. The Chief Constable replied the following week, requesting the order be placed for the installation of the Electric Air Raid Warning Siren on the Police Station.

The Original cupboards still in place in July 2001.

Correspondence was read from Mr. J. A. Duxbury, Sectional Commander of the Rishton Special Constabulary, on the 12th August 1943, concerning the intention to organise a Garrison Theatre on a Sunday evening. Resolved that a reply be addressed to Mr. Duxbury informing him that this is not a matter over which the Council has any jurisdiction.

Lethal Chamber. On the 27th September 1945, The Clerk reported that the Chamber had been removed from the Police Station to the Council Yard, in accordance with a request from the Police authorities. It was decided to obtain the advice of the R. S. P. C. A. Inspector regarding the Chamber and that the days and times available be advertised.

On the 12th August 1952, the Police applied to build two houses on Eachill Road to house their staff.

The year 2002, September the 27th, saw Norden become the first school in the County of Lancashire to have its own police constable based on site. This was in part down to the Governments local beat initiative which was pouring millions of pounds into the country to try and get bobbies back on the beat. 31 year old PC Mark Skellorn was welcomed to his new post by the head teacher, Denise Parkinson at the beginning of the school term.

The Police Station building was being used as a special needs school, up to present date, and owned by Lancashire County Council. In September 1998, the centre received a Glowing O. f. s. t. e. d. report.

The centre for youngsters with serious emotional and behavioural problems won glowing praise from a team of government inspectors. An O. f. s. t. e. d. report revealed the unit, which deals with problem children from across East Lancashire is helping the youngsters to become model pupils.

Rishton Tutorial Centre deals with youngsters referred from primary schools in Blackburn, Darwen, Ribble Valley and Hyndburn. A team of O. f. s. t. e. d. inspectors have produced the report after visiting the unit earlier in 1998.

The centre had 24 full-time places and the majority of children were well below national standards when they started at Rishton. Around three quarters of the intake were certified as having special needs.

But the inspectors found that staff at the centre are committed and dedicated while standards of teaching range from good to very good. The report read: "Pupils' behaviour on entry may be volatile, disruptive, withdrawn or apathetic but they soon adopt the open and trusting relationships which are a feature of the centre. As pupils spend longer in the centre they develop good attitudes to themselves, others and their learning. Teaching is of a consistently high quality and is a major strength. Management of pupils by all staff at the centre is excellent. Teachers systematically identify the precise needs of individual pupils and plan effective strategies."

Roy Gaskell, chairman of governors at the centre, said: "This is a very encouraging report for everyone at the tutorial centre as it recognises the hard work of the staff and the achievements of the teachers and pupils. In the coming months we aim to continue to maintain the good quality of education we provide."

First published on Monday 06 April 1998:
FIFTY more bobbies will be pounding the beat as part of a major crimebusting shake-up, police revealed on Monday 06 April 1998. The radical strategy will see a return to old-style community policing in Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley. The area covered by the 'Eastern Division' will be divided into eight teams, each headed by an inspector who will be given responsibility for policing their district. Pilot projects, which had been running in Accrington and the Infirmary area of Blackburn, have proved a huge success, with crime rates plummeting by up to 12 per cent.

Bobbies on the beat concentrating on their own patch will link up with an intelligence-gathering unit. Each area will have detectives working closely with uniformed officers and specialised units based in Blackburn will provide back-up. The aim will be to highlight problem areas and look at ways of solving crime with the help of community groups and organisations.

Superintendent Eddie Walsh, head of Eastern Division, said: "This is a major change in the way we police the area. From now on, the focus will be on the cause of crime and the root causes. Hopefully, by reducing crime, we will be able to make our job easier and relieve some of the pressure on the division." The new anti-crime techniques are being adopted across Lancashire, but the Eastern Division is at the forefront of the revolution.

Mr Walsh added: "We will not be able to make this work on our own. The strategy will rely on partnerships with other agencies, including councils, social services and community organisations. This is a massive change, not just in terms of techniques, but also in the culture of the police force. We want to work with the community instead of reacting to calls when they come into the police station. This is the biggest change I have seen during my career with the police. Of course most people don't like change, but the response we have had so far from our officers has been very positive."

Crime and DisturbanceTroubles which have happened in Rishton over the years.
Youth ProblemsA collection of Youth trouble over the years.
Crime and GrimePolice clean up in the town.
Drug ProblemsPeople busted for having or growing drugs.


Lancashire Police History Web site (No longer available - http://www.lancashire.police.uk/historysection.html)

Picture from 1917 from Rishton Library.

Accrington Observer 27th September 2002

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Monday 06 April 1998, Monday 14 September 1998.

The Times, Monday, November 6th 1911, Column 1. (Supplied by Barry Smith via email)5