Building a blueprint for the future (16 Aug 2017)

West Yorkshire Police is updating its estate and buildings, fit for the challenges of modern day policing.

As part of a long term Estates Strategy 2015-2020, seven more premises have been approved for sale across West Yorkshire with replacement sites in most cases.

It will assist the ongoing reform of service delivery, help save money and divert more resources back into frontline policing. The buildings include:-

Police Stations: Keighley, Bingley (Bradford District), Killingbeck (Leeds District).

Section Boxes: Fartown, Milnsbridge, Moldgreen (Kirklees District), Wyke (Bradford District)

West Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable, John Robins said:

"Much of our plans are about having smaller, newer and more cost effective police stations in a similar location, albeit some will not be replaced where very few officers and staff work from them.

"The number of officers and staff working in these areas is not changing. Indeed, we are committed to increasing the numbers of Neighbourhood Police officers and PCSOs over the next year. Saving money on estates helps us do that.

"It all forms part of a wider ongoing strategy to reduce the number of properties across the organisation, which have either been left empty, are largely underused or are very expensive to run.

"Since 2010, due to Government austerity measures, the size of our workforce has decreased and we need to reduce our costs. We are now operating with around 1,400 fewer people.

"Alongside all this, newly built state of the art buildings across the Force have given us greater capacity and are specifically designed with 21st century policing in mind.

"Response times will not change as a result of these plans and the existing operational deployment centres, which are not changing, will ensure we continue to police all areas effectively."

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, added:

"The way in which we operate and respond to the public is improving all the time with advances in technology that West Yorkshire Police are at the forefront of.

"This is not just about the money, although we have had to face challenges as our budget has been reduced by around £140m since 2010, this is about providing newer and better placed police buildings for our officers and staff to work from.

"I have invested £20million to transform the way we police including the introduction of agile equipment and mobile devices. This ensures officers can spend more time away from the station and on the streets which is where people across West Yorkshire say they want to see them.

"Partnership working, including with our emergency services partners, and co-location will continue to play a key role, sharing premises where possible to provide a greater community presence.

"Online reporting, crime tracking facilities and live-chat systems have also now made it easier to communicate with the Police.

"This estates plan builds on a more efficient and effective approach to policing the communities of West Yorkshire ensuring people across the county are safe and feel safe."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2017