LANCASHIRE police is spending almost £700,000 per police officer and PCSO on the beat, it has been claimed.

New research from the Taxpayers’ Alliance has shown that on average only 11.6 per cent of officers and PCSOs in Lancashire are ‘visible and available’ to the public, compared to a national average of 11.8 per cent.

The figures, gathered using data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, however revealed that overall that the constabulary spent £286million a year, which works at around £77,000 per officer.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “With spending restraint needed across the board, it is vital that police forces improve their efficiency. Crime prevention does not have to suffer.

“This report reveals figures for each police force and compares how many police officers and Police Community Support Officers are ‘visible and available’. That is the best measure of the extent to which a police force can get officers out on the beat.

“This new research shows that forces can do more to focus resources on frontline, visible policing.

“It provides a benchmark for the new Police and Crime Commissioners, who control police budgets and set the forces’ priorities.

“While much of the work done by forces that isn't visible has value, the amount of the amount of frontline visible policing for a given amount of spending is still a good proxy for value for money.

“Communities value officers on the streets and their ability to respond quickly in the event of a crime taking place.”