Renewed focus on policing in West Yorkshire

Police on patrol.
Police on patrol.
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Street briefings are to be held in coming days as police reveal a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing - with hundreds of additional officers to be deployed in West Yorkshire.

Funding has been secured for 100 extra PCs and more than 600 PCSOs, West Yorkshire Police reveals today, as it moves to rebuild frontline teams.

It follows an admission last year that crucial prevention work and engagement in communities is suffering because of rising demand at the same time as budgets have been slashed.

West Yorkshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said visibility is key in reducing crime and protecting the vulnerable.

“Community engagement is key to neighbourhood policing, delivered through locally based officers, who will be able to identify issues and deal with them at an earlier stage,” she said.

In reports published in December, the force said neighbourhood officers were being used to routinely assist with call demand, lessening visibility.

Crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson revealed a recent rise in the policing precept will help fund the scheme, adding that neighbourhood teams are the “bedrock” of community policing.

“The relationship between West Yorkshire Police and our communities is fundamental to successful policing at all levels,” he said.

“It is only through genuine and meaningful engagement with our communities that we are able to listen to, understand and deal with community safety and anti-social behaviour issues that can make all the difference to the quality of lives.”

Roadshows are to be held at the Precinct in Pontefract at 10.30am on Wednesday and at the Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds on Friday at 2.30pm as officers talk to communities about what the changes may mean.

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