New police chiefs in Bradford have pledged that front-line services to the public will not be affected by financial restraints.
Superintendent Scott Bisset and Detective Chief Inspector Peter Craig have taken up their new roles at Bradford South Police and both maintained that neighbourhood policing was the priority.
Supt Bisset, who started his career as a PC in Bradford and worked as a detective in the district, said it would be churlish to hide the challenging financial times that affected everybody.
But he insisted: “The public of Bradford can be reassured that the very visible, accessible and local-based police service will continue. The people of Bradford really value that neighbourhood-led approach. We will do absolutely all we can to protect neighbourhood policing.”
Det Chief Insp Craig – who before his return to Bradford had worked on Operation Transform, West Yorkshire Police’s response to Home Office funding reductions – said the Bradford taxpayer would get “more bang for their buck”.
He said: “Neighbourhood-led policing is at the heart of all we do in this division and West Yorkshire. Making efficiencies in back and middle-office functions enables us to make significant cost reductions without any effect on neighbourhood policing.”
Both senior officers emphasised their strong links to Bradford.
Supt Bisset said: “I am passionate about the city and really care about how people live, work and bring up their families here.”
Det Chief Insp Craig, who has ten years’ policing experience in the Bradford district, said: “This is where my family is growing up and where I live and work. Being a resident gives me extra impetus to ensure we are delivering the services and reductions in crime that I would want.”
He said house burglaries were a particularly invasive crime, but they had reduced by more than 30 per cent in Bradford South in the last two years.
Det Chief Insp Craig said: “As a crime manager, my emphasis continues to be in reducing serious acquisitive crime, including house burglary, robbery and vehicle crime.”
Supt Bisset said: “One victim of burglary is one too many. We can be proud of what we have achieved, but we are very ambitious to take that further.
“It is only by working with the communities that we can do that. One in four burglaries are through insecure doors and our key message to the public is to take basic precautions, like locking doors and windows. Our job is to target burglars, but reducing their opportunities is really important.”