Crime File: Public's chance to put the police under spotlight

THE West Yorkshire public is being offered the chance to quiz police watchdogs about the role they play in policing the county.

West Yorkshire Police Authority wants residents to support the latest question and answer event at its next full committee meeting.

Questions can be about any aspect of the authority's role, including setting the police budget and the police council tax precept, police performance and targets, or the role members play in scrutinising Force plans, policies and activities on behalf of the public.

And staff at the police authority would be happy to offer advice on the wording of the questions.

Anyone who submits a question will be given the opportunity to attend the meeting and ask the question in person, if they are unable to or would not wish to attend, then an answer will be sent following the meeting.

Coun Mark Burns-Williamson, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority, said "We received an excellent response from members of the public when we asked for questions last year and I hope we have a good response this time around too.

"The questions can be about any aspect of our work including the setting of the budget and how we monitor the activities of the Force.

"It is also a chance to raise any issues or concerns the public may have about policing.

"We do not, however, answer any questions around operational policing directly as this is under the day to day control of the chief constable, but the role of the authority and members is to ask and scrutinise the chief constable and Force on behalf of the public"

Deadline for questions is Monday February 13. They will be answered at the full authority meeting on Friday February 18.

Anyone wishing to submit a question – or who would like further information or assistance with the wording of a question – is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Authority, Ploughland House, 62 George St, Wakefield WF1.

Or telephone 01924 294006 or email ed@wypa.pnn.police.uk.

Police hunt for victims of city centre violence

POLICE are appealing for assault victims to come forward after violence flared in the middle of Wakefield.

Officers say there were a number of assaults in the city centre during a 20-minute flare up just before 7pm on Tuesday December 14.

One member of the public was assaulted by four men outside the new market area on Union Street and police are now appealing for information in relation to the violent incidents and, in particular want to hear from potential victims.

The victim was wearing a black jacket with a white hood and was carrying a Farm Foods carrier bag.

Around 10 minutes later, four men were seen on the Bull Ring provoking members of the public.

There was another assault outside a coffee shop on the Bull Ring where a man was knocked down twice.

The vic

tim of that attack was wearing a black beany hat, a black coat, black jeans and white trainers.

Anyone with information about the violence, the lead up to it or those involved, is asked to contact Contact PC Toni Darroch on 01924 295609.

Support aides are needed

WAKEFIELD South East Neighbourhood Policing Team has recruited its first police support volunteer.

Tony Howell, 34, is contributing to community life by lending a helping hand to his local NPT.

He has been helping with crime issues by ringing back victims of crime to keep them informed of progress on their cases.

And he is in the process of building up databases of local community groups who the police may be able to work with in future to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Howell said: "I decided I would like to offer my help to make the area a safer place to live and work.

"With the Government announcement of some cuts to services I wanted to try and do my bit to help get more officers out patrolling the streets."

To volunteer, visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/recruitment or call 01924 292084.Two arrests in the bag – and charity gets a welcome clothing boost

POLICE who seized 150 bags of donated clothing from two suspected bogus collectors have handed the haul over to a cancer charity.

Two officers from the Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team delivered the bags of clothes and accessories to the Cancer Research UK store in Castleford.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of falsely claiming to be collecting on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support distributing forged leaflets across the Rothwell, Woodlesford and Oulton areas.

The pair will appear before Leeds Magistrates' Court in March.

Macmillan Cancer Support does not invite doorstep donations of clothing or goods.

Because the bags had been given in good faith by the public, Macmillan had asked for the bags to be given to another cancer charity in the area.

Consultation starts on NY police cuts

A FORMAL legal redundancy consultation process has been launched by North Yorkshire Police which has faces having to axe around 350 civilian staff due to Government grant cuts.

The 90-day consultation period runs until March 31 and will initially involve talks with force union representatives.

The force is faced with cutting 19m from its spending over the next four years and also plans to reduce uniform strength by 200 police officer posts from the ranks of constable to chief superintendent

After the initial consultation with union officials, managers will then undertake formal discussions with civilian staff about how the proposed changes could impact on teams, units and individuals

Because serving officers of less than 30 years service cannot be made redundant, the reductions in officer numbers will have to be achieved by either reduced recruitment or natural wasteage such as retirement.

But the force has indicated that it may use Regulation A19 of the Police Pension Regulations under which those with 30 years service can be required to retire.

Register to thwart rogue workmen

A SCHEME to protect householders from cowboy workmen who rip them off has been launched in Leeds by a crime fighting group.

A register of approved tradesmen who can be relied upon and are accountable has already got scores of names of skilled workers who have been subjected to police checks.

But it is now hoped to expand the Checkpoint register, set up by Community Action and Support Against Crime (CASAC), from its present 80 names of tradespersons to many more covering different skills.

The scheme is being run in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Department, Leeds City Council and other local voluntary organisations.

Under the new scheme those requesting to be on the register must agree to being subjected to a Criminal Records Bureau check to see if they have any relevant convictions.

Anyone in Leeds can use Checkpoint to find the right person for work in their home whether it is a roofer, an electrician or a general handyman that is needed.

To learn more about Checkpoint – either to use the service or register with it, call 0845 838 8851.

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