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Police have 'no plans to close vital contact point' in Thornton
Police have scotched claims from residents that a vital community contact point is to close.
Volunteers who run the Thornton contact point in the village’s Methodist chapel, say they have been told it is to close because there is no more funding.
But Bradford’s police chief said he had no knowledge of such plans.
He said: “The community think it is vital to have somebody there. At £350 rent a quarter, it is excellent value for money. I raised concerns with Mr Burns-Williamson and I am awaiting his reply.”
Jean Nellis, one of the volunteers who runs the contact point, which is open for two hours on Monday and Thursday, said: “The Bradford West co-ordinator, and a neighbourhood policing sergeant told us there was no more funding and the contact point would be closing.
“We have enough money left to last until Christmas and we will carry on using it until then and then we’ll have to close down.
“Anybody can come to the contact points and raise policing issues. Everybody agrees we are very useful.”
But Bradford District Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin said: “Please be reassured that I am looking to maintain this current contact point, and I have no knowledge of any plans to withdraw from this facility.”
He added: “Contact points provide an accessible location for people in our communities to raise any concerns they may have with their local officers.
“Some of them are also shared with our partners, which allows us to work closely with them to reduce crime and tackle local issues.
“Being accessible to the public is key to effective neighbourhood policing and our teams are always looking at new ways to engage with and reassure their communities.”
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “As far as I am concerned, there are no plans to close the Thornton Village contact point and I have made very clear to the Chief Constable decisions on buildings must be agreed by both me and him.
“The way we do policing is changing and we are looking at ways of working in closer partnership to make sure that your Neighbourhood Policing Team is protected and more visible in your community.
“With the damaging Government cuts we need to constantly look at how we can make savings and protect frontline policing, but I would like to reassure the public that I have had no discussions with regards to closing the Thornton Village contact point or otherwise.”
There are 35 contact points in the Bradford district ranging from large ones at City Hall and the University to ones in supermarkets attended by officers once or twice a week.
Earlier this month, concerns were raised about the possible closure of the Queensbury police contact point, though no decision has been made on its future.
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