Smart thinking in Keighley is praised by police as restructuring of teams unveiled

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson Crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson

Technology designed to catch thieves and a new system to bring neighbourhood policing even closer to local communities were both highlighted at Keighley Civic Centre during an event yesterday.

Senior police officers and the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner met at the Keighley Town Council-run premises in North Street.

The afternoon event was partly to promote and explain the Smartwater product, which can be used to identify valuables such as cars, flagstones and items of personal property.

The forensic substance is invisible when applied to objects, but can be identified using an ultraviolet torch.

Smartwater crime reduction advisor Kevin Drewett told the gathering: “Smartwater is very robust, and we guarantee that when it’s used externally it’ll last for at least five years.”

Crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said he was particularly pleased that that the ill-gotten gains of criminals, taken from them under the Proceeds of Crime Act, was helping to fund the provision of Smartwater marking kits.

Neighbourhood policing team sergeant Chris Watson said Smartwater was an ideal way of deterring stone thefts, as people can use it to mark this type of property without actually damaging it. He said householders can order kits from Smartwater using the discount code KDHP25H or they can get a kit from one of the contact points at Haworth, Oakworth or Keighley, but stock at these locations is limited.

The occasion at the civic centre was on the same day that a new structure for neighbourhood police teams in West Yorkshire came into force.

Each team will now be aligned on a district council ward so there are 30 teams instead of 12.

Each ward now has a named police sergeant for local communities to speak to but the number of officers and PCSOs has not changed.

Chief superintendent Simon Atkin, Bradford district commander, said: “Our 30 ward teams will be based in the heart of their local communities, making them more accessible to the public and allowing them to provide integrated and co-ordinated policing services designed to meet the needs of local people.”

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to protect the number of PCs and PCSOS in our teams for the next two years, as our communities have said that this is something that is very important to them.”

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