West Yorkshire Police sells elite murder detectives' base to save money

The building which houses West Yorkshire Police's elite murder detectives is to be sold as part of plans to save money by reducing the size of the force's estate.

Friday, 19th February 2016, 4:41 pm
Updated Friday, 19th February 2016, 4:45 pm
Dennis Hoban, the legendary Leeds detective

Hoban House, in Gildersome, near Leeds, has been the home of the force’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET), which investigates dozens of murders and major incidents every year.

The building, named after legendary Leeds detective Dennis Hoban, will soon become surplus to requirements after HMET merged with the force’s crime division.

Bosses say that selling Hoban House and nearby police base Cramphorn House, named after former chief constable Colin Cramphorn, will save £431,000 a year in running costs. Neither of the two buildings to be sold are open to the public.

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The location for the merged Protective Services Crime department will be in Wakefield, though the force has not released further details for security reasons.

The move will take place between the spring and summer and will see West Yorkshire Police, the Regional Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency all housed under one roof.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said “The government has cut West Yorkshire’s policing budget by £140m. As I have made protecting frontline policing my priority I need to make savings elsewhere.

“The disposal of buildings such as Hoban House and Cramphorn House, neither of which are public facing buildings, will go some way towards paying for more police officers and enable me to protect neighbourhood policing.

“The selling of Hoban House and Cramphorn House, will enable the strategic realignment of crime resources and see West Yorkshire Police, the Regional Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency housed under one roof which will considerably reduce running costs and better enable joint working on major crime.

“Any decision on disposals of buildings is carefully considered with the Chief Officer Team and takes into consideration impact on the local community and partner organisations.”

West Yorkshire Police, Director of Business Services, John Prentice said: “To support our ongoing reinvestment into front-line policing, we continue to seek further savings and efficiencies across the organisation.

“We have looked at the operational suitability, running cost and effective use of these two buildings, which are not public facing.

“It has allowed us to identify alternative options, which both cater for our staff and maintain the same level of service, whilst offering a greater value for money.”

Dennis Hoban was the Leeds police officer so respected that villains reputedly said they were proud to be caught by him.

The one-time head of Leeds CID led the early hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper and immediately recognised there was a serial killer at large when he saw the body of Peter Sutcliffe’s second victim, Emily Jackson, in January 1976.

Colin Cramphorn was Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police from September 2002 to November 2006, when he died of prostate cancer at the age of 50.