The number of neighbourhood police inspectors is to be halved in a major shake-up of local policing.
The force says its plan for a “leaner leadership” structure is designed to save money without cutting the number of bobbies on the beat.
It will also see the number of neighbourhood policing teams more than double, with some of these hyper-local teams working from police boxes rather than police stations.
The shake-up will take effect on April 7, but the force has stressed that front-line policing numbers will not be affected.
It forms part of a West Yorkshire Police plan to save £143 million by 2017, which also saw the district’s two police divisions merged into one.
The Police Federation, which represents officers, said it would be keeping a close eye on these latest changes to make sure inspectors had a “fair and manageable” work-life balance.
The Federation’s West Yorkshire chairman, Nick Smart, said: “You are still going to get the same level of service, it’s just that inspectors are being asked to take more responsibility.
“We understand there has got to be cuts when you are losing so many millions out of your budget. But inspectors are being asked to do an awful lot of extra work.”
Currently there are 12 Neighbourhood Policing Teams across the district, each one led by a police inspector.
Under the changes, there will instead be 30 smaller sergeant-led teams, each covering one of Bradford Council’s 30 ward areas.
There will be five police inspectors, one for each of the Council’s five area committee boundaries – Keighley, Shipley, Bradford East, Bradford West and Bradford South. Each inspector would oversee six neighbourhood teams.
City centre policing would also get a major boost, with a sixth inspector assigned solely to the Bradford city centre regeneration area.
Bradford district commander, Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin, said the changes meant that the police could work more closely with Bradford Council because their boundaries would be the same.
He said: “Ongoing changes within the Bradford district are to ensure policing services are as integrated as they possibly can be with key partners within the local authority, working on area committee and ward boundaries.
“This does not affect front-line policing numbers throughout the district.
“The emphasis will be on leaner leadership, a front line that is protected as far as possible and the introduction of the new operating model.”
THE PLANS IN DETAIL
City centre: A specialist team is being created to cover just the Bradford city centre regeneration area. It will be led by its own dedicated inspector, Inspector Andrew Gallant, and will also have four police sergeants. Instead of working from Trafalgar House police station, its main base will be at City Hall, which it will move into from May.
Bradford East: The area’s three Neighbourhood Policing Teams, each one currently led by an inspector, will instead become six teams, all overseen by Inspector George Bardell. They will continue to work from Trafalgar House police station in Bradford city centre and Javelin House police station in Eccleshill.
Bradford West: The three Neighbourhood Policing Teams covering Bradford West will become six smaller teams, led by Inspector Tom Horner. They will be based at Lawcroft House police station in Manningham.
Bradford South: The area's three Neighbourhood Policing Teams will instead become six smaller teams, all led by Inspector Andrew Addy. Whereas before they were based at Trafalgar House police station in Bradford city centre, the teams will now work from three locations: Dudley Hill police station, Wyke police box and Queensbury police box.
Shipley: Shipley’s three Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be split into six, led by Inspector Hugh Robinson. They will continue to work from Shipley, Bingley and Ilkley police stations, as before.
Keighley: Instead of three Neighbourhood Policing Teams covering the Keighley area, there will be six. Insp Susan Sanderson will be in charge and the teams will work from Airedale House police station, Ilkley police station and Haworth police box.