Ilkley Police Station will remain manned under a restructure of West Yorkshire Police’s Neighbourhood Policing, but there are no plans to extend public opening hours.
West Yorkshire Police this week unveiled a reorganisation which will see one-time Ilkley-based Inspector Sue Sanderson take responsibility for Neighbourhood Policing across the Keighley Constituency.
The old Wharfedale and Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team, which carries out community policing of Ilkley, Addingham, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston, is being replaced with a Keighley Area Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Each Bradford Council ward will have its own sergeant and officers dedicated to the area.
Sergeant Julie Gray will be the sergeant dedicated to Ilkley, Insp Sanderson confirmed this week.
Insp Sanderson says the new arrangements will mean more flexibility to bring additional officers into Ilkley when needed. New officers are also on their way to Ilkley Police Station, on Riddings Road.
“I want to reassure you that Ilkley Police Station is staying operational and will get more staff covering the Ilkley area,” she said.
Response staff who work around the clock seven days a week will continue to work from the police station.
But Insp Sanderson, who will divide her time between Ilkley and Keighley police stations in future, told parish councillors this week the public helpdesk hours are not likely to increase.
The helpdesk at the police station was last year reduced to Thursday opening only.
Insp Sanderson said the cut in opening hours was made as a result of the cuts the force is subject to and the decision was made to cut helpdesk hours but maintain the PCs and PCSOs on the beat. There was ‘little footfall’ at the helpdesk, she said.
“I can’t see any increase in those hours,” said Insp Sanderson.
The Bradford District Commander in Chief, Superintendent Simon Atkin, said the ward teams, with local officers based in the heart of their communities, are designed to meet the needs of local people and will be more accessible to the public.
He said: “I am committed to providing the people of the Bradford District with a policing service which reflects the needs of its communities, and I believe that localising our neighbourhood teams to Council ward areas will enable us to build on the good work that we do with partners and communities to address local issues.”