£64m-cuts force puts Leeds under one commander

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Local policing in Leeds has been brought under the command of one senior officer after the number of divisions in the city was cut from three to one.

West Yorkshire Police announced plans last month to reduce the number of divisions across the county from eight to five so that policing boundaries match those of local councils.

The changes came into force this week, meaning Leeds now only has one divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Paul Money, who was previously in charge of City and Holbeck division.

Chief Supt David Oldroyd and Supt Martin Snowden, divisional commanders for North West Leeds and North East Leeds, have been moved to vacant positions within the force, West Yorkshire Police have confirmed.

The move to reduce the number of divisions in Bradford from two to one as part of the same scheme will be carried out after this weekend’s demonstration by the English Defence League in the city centre, which will require a major police presence.

Chief constable Mark Gilmore says the new structure will “make the service more effective and efficient and better able to meet the challenges we all face.”

The move is part of the force’s ‘programme of change’ which will help it save £64 million over the next three years. A recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary criticised West Yorkshire Police for its “failure to grasp the opportunity to transform its services so far” in response to cuts in Government funding.

Mr Gilmore said: “For the first time the force will share the same boundaries with local authorities and other partners which will enable it to improve the way it works with local agencies to make decisions and tackle issues like criminality and anti-social behaviour more quickly together.”

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