Towns fear for future of police stations

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Police have been unable to quash fears that two stations in West Yorkshire are under threat of closure.

The Conservative Group on Bradford Council has called for reassurances that Bingley and Shipley will retain an on-site police presence into the future after claims the towns’ police stations are being considered for closure.

Councillor Michael Walls, the Conservative group representative on the Police and Crime Panel, said: “I have heard that the police force is considering closing Bingley and Shipley police stations, as they require refurbishing and asbestos removal works and the closure of these stations would provide a significant saving, which I am advised they would intend to direct towards front line policing.”

He said he was “not happy at the loss of a visible, accessible, physical presence in these two communities.”

Councillor Walls added: “Initially the increased front-line presence may well be located in the two affected areas, but over time day-to-day policing pressures would see these officers become just part of the overall force, with Bingley and Shipley left with no dedicated police presence.”

West Yorkshire Police were unable to rule out the closure of the stations.

A spokesman for the force said: “Like all forces, we must make substantial savings over the next few years under the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. We are looking at the most effective ways to achieve this, whilst protecting front line policing within our communities.

“Neighbourhood Policing remains central to everything we do and we are committed to delivering the best possible service.”

Fears the stations could close have sparked concern from local councillors.

Bingley councillor David Heseltine said: “I consider the removal of a permanent police presence, particularly the neighbourhood policing teams in Bingley and Shipley, to be misplaced and retrograde.”

Otley Police Station’s public enquiry desk is due to close next month.