Police numbers in Shipley will not be cut, business leaders have been assured.

Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin, the divisional commander of Bradford District Police, made the pledge at a meeting hosted by the town’s MP Philip Davies, which also involved traders and businessmen in Shipley, Bingley and Baildon.

Speaking after the invitation-only event, Ch Supt Mr Atkin said: “I was delighted to be invited to the business forum by Mr Davies and was pleased by the honest and forthright feedback I received on policing in the town which we can continue to build upon.”

Referring to fears that recent restructuring had created a single Bradford division, which might affect outlying areas, he stressed: “It was also an opportunity to offer reassurance that the recent changes to the service will not affect policing resources in the Shipley area.”

Barry Cooper, chairman of Shipley Town Centre Business Partnership, said it had been a very valuable meeting.

“It was very good to meet the new man in charge, Mr Atkin and there was a very positive mood.

“Shoplifting was discussed and there was concern police officers might be pulled out of the Shipley area, but we were told numbers had been protected.”

Conservative MP Mr Davies said there had been “frank exchanges” at what was a very productive event.

“It was most encouraging because when it was first announced there would just be one police division for the district, I was concerned that resources would be sucked out of Shipley and into Bradford.

“But Mr Atkin made it clear that the level of policing for Shipley was now ringfenced, which is very reassuring.

Previous guests at Mr Davies’ breakfast forums have included Bradford Council chief executive Tony Reeves and bosses from Barclays Bank.

“We try to make them relevant to local issues and I think it’s a really worthwhile thing to do,” Mr Davies said.