police officers could be stationed in children’s homes, housing offices and health centres under plans drawn up by Leeds’s new top cop.
Chief Supt Paul Money – boss of the new Leeds-wide division of West Yorkshire Police – wants officers to be more accessible to the public and to work directly with other organisations to tackle the root causes of crime.
Mr Money, who is from south Leeds, was speaking after the previous three Leeds divisions were merged as part of the force’s cost-cutting measures.
He said: “It’s a significant change in culture in the way we work. Examples might be police officers in children’s homes – not policing the home itself but the estate and surrounding streets that are impacted as a result of some of the issues that occur in children’s homes. It could mean police officers in hospitals and A and E departments, one-stop shops, housing offices.
“It’s about providing a more coherent way of working with other agencies to minimise the harm criminality causes.”
Following the merger – which Chief Constable Mark Gilmore said would result in “fewer managers and more doers” – Leeds has lost two chief superintendents and will lose four chief inspectors.
But Mr Money, who will be based at the new Elland Road police station when it opens next year, has vowed to protect frontline services.
He said the proportion of officers working in neighbourhood roles would actually rise from 43 per cent to 70 per cent.
“Protecting the thing that’s most important to us and the public – and that’s the frontline – is a primary requirement,” he added.
Leeds central MP Hilary Benn said: “My principle concern was getting reassurances that neighbourhood policing will be maintained and I’ve had absolute assurances that will be the case.”