Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Concern over plan to shut Keighley police cells
10:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
There are fears the cells at Keighley police station could close due to cost- cutting measures by West Yorkshire Police.
The force has said it is reviewing its custody facilities due to budget cuts. There are currently two custody suites in the district, at Bradford South and the Royd Ings Avenue station in Keighley. The review will look at which facilities see the most demand.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford and Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain has vowed to speak with Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson to try and maintain cells in the town.
Solicitor Keith Blackwell, based at Blackwells in Keighley, said: “If the cells close it will be a massive event. It would have huge ramifications for the people of Keighley.
“If they close the cells in Keighley then the nearest cells will be in Bradford. Police will spend half their working time driving to Bradford and back. People who have been in the cells might be released in the middle of the night in Bradford and have to make their way back to somewhere like Oakworth.”
A spokesman for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office said: “Given the significant cuts to the budget, West Yorkshire Police have started a programme of change to fundamentally alter the structure and operation of the force to ensure that we can meet the funding challenge, but also ensure our communities across West Yorkshire are safer and feel safer.
“Mark Burns Williamson has been consulting with people across the county and our focus is, as far as we can, to maintain services where the public want them, on the front line.
“Part of the change programme is a review of our custody facilities, which will look at making best use of our resources, including custody suites, based on where the demand is and how we can best service our communities.”
Coun Hussain said: “This was a concern I’d had before, but I was assured by senior officers that services would be maintained. If they close the cells then what next?
“This would be unacceptable considering the size of Keighley. We need a frontline service here and that includes custody suites. We can’t have families and police driving to Bradford. That will be a huge cost – it doesn’t make much sense.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins (Con) said: “At the end of the day, they have to manage their limited resources, but I would be concerned if this jeopardised their service in Keighley.”
Comments are closed on this article.