POLICE officially confirmed yesterday that a murder investigation had been launched after a body was found at the premises of a former bank.

The body was discovered by officers from West Yorkshire Police inside a building in Commercial Street, Batley, on Sunday, December 29.

They forced entry into the former Yorkshire Bank premises, reportedly through a steel door.

Murder squad detectives were at the scene throughout much of yesterday, but police only officially confirmed the nature of the investigation on New Year's Eve.

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It is believed the body is that of a man.

Enquiries are continuing to confirm the identity of the deceased and the circumstances around the death.

A scene remained in place at the location on Tuesday, December 31.


A police spokesperson said: "Three people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

"Two have been released under investigation while the third has been bailed."

Commercial Street and Wellington Street were sealed off when forensic officers arrived on the Sunday.

Roads in the vicinity were also closed, with disruptions caused to bus services.

A video from the scene on Monday showed numerous police and forensic vans parked up on the main road.

At least four officers were clad in white forensic suits and were seen entering and leaving the building throughout the day. 

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, said: "This was a serious and worrying incident and I can’t imagine what it must be like for the friends and family of the victim.

"Let’s hope the perpetrators are quickly brought to justice. Serious crime like this is a blight on our community and I will continue to raise my concerns with senior government ministers to support our police to give them the funding they need.

"I’d also like to thank the local traders who - faced with temporary closure due to the police cordon - showed understanding and patience in an extremely difficult situation."

Yorkshire Bank closed its Batley branch back in 2016.

It came after the company made an announcement about plans to close a number of its banks in the north, in April of that year.

They were all closed between July and September in 2016.

The building where Yorkshire Bank was situated had been up for let in June 2018, according to Google Street View.

There were two signs attached to the building - one from Wharfedale Property and the other from Michael Steel & Co.