West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's pledge to maintain rural services (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's pledge to maintain rural services
Frontline policing in the north of the district will be unaffected by any changes to police divisions, a police supremo has promised.
The top-level pledge has been issued amid fears that a proposed merger between the Bradford South division and the Airedale and North Bradford division could hit police cover in outlying areas in the north of the new super-division.
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has spoken out in a bid to quell anxiety.
“I am committed to ensuring people in the Airedale and North Bradford areas – including Keighley – are safer and feel safer,” he said.
“I have promised to protect frontline policing and with the support of partners, will be maintaining the level of police community support officers and police at the local level.”
He spoke out after the Telegraph & Argus revealed that a review was under way examining a cost-cutting merger of the Airedale and North Bradford division, which includes Keighley, and city-based Bradford South.
But villagers in outlying areas are concerned about the possible impact.
Councillor Adrian Naylor, an Independent Craven ward district councillor and member of Silsden Town Council, said: “The reason places like Silsden and Steeton are quiet in terms of crime is the fact people see a visible police presence on the street, and through PACT meetings can task PCSOs to deal with low-level issues. I don’t want to see that lost through control moving to Bradford.”
Fellow ward councillor Andrew Mallinson said police assurances were needed that rural services would be unaffected.
As part of the police measures, it has also been confirmed that Keighley’s cells will shut next week, raising fears that Airedale could come off second best from the changes.
Some people fear the move will be a disaster for Keighley, which over the years has seen the closure of its criminal and county courts and the relocation of the police station from the town centre.
Councillor Graham Mitchell, chairman of Keighley Town Council’s watch & transport committee, said larger, combined bodies rarely provided a better local service. And he hoped essential links would be maintained between committee members and the police.
Mr Burns-Williamson said the government was cutting around £140 million over six years from the budget, so savings had to be made.
But he vowed that full consultation would take place before any decisions were reached.
Comments are closed on this article.