Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has heard from Lancashire residents with concerns about escalating crime.
Mr Corbyn attended a meeting at St Ambrose Church Hall in Leyland, South Ribble, on Tuesday where he heard from residents with concerns about the crime rate.
About 25 people attended and raised issues about drug dealing and a lack of police presence in the area.
The leader of the opposition said: “The overall issue is the budget has been massively cut by central Government so the number of police officers has gone down.”
Resident Marguerite Ralphs said: “I am very, very concerned about drug dealing that’s openly going on in many districts of Leyland.
“It’s never challenged, they know there’s nobody to chastise them or bring them to book.”
Mr Corbyn said: “We have to invest as a society far more in young people in youth centres and youth workers.”
Police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw, who attended the meeting with Mr Corbyn, said: “The police are under huge added pressure because the visibility they used to be able to provide, now they can’t.”
He said officers were also having to deal with mental health issues because of cuts in other services.
Mr Corbyn said Labour was committed to recruiting more police officers and more police community support officers.
He added: “We as a society have got to face up to the mental health crisis we are all in the midst of.”
Speaking afterwards, he said: “We need to invest in police, invest in youth services and invest in mental health services.”
Mr Corbyn said he was in the area to support the local election campaign.
South Ribble Borough Council is currently Conservative but Mr Corbyn said Labour was “campaigning to win”.