Cop shop to remain in town

Brighouse police station, Bradford Road.
Brighouse police station, Bradford Road.

BRIGHOUSE Police Station could be one of three stations which will remain open despite Government spending cuts.

Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern, divisional commander for Calderdale Police, said his vision would be for police stations to remain in Brighouse, Halifax and Todmorden but they could close them in Elland, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and Ovenden.

New Calderdale police chief superintendent Chris Hardern.

New Calderdale police chief superintendent Chris Hardern.

West Yorkshire Police has to slash its budget by 20 per cent by 2015.

Chief Superintendent Hardern says he will have some difficult decisions to make over the coming months to meet slashes in spending, and he would rather close buildings than cut police numbers.

“Tough decisions need to be made,” he said. “If the impact is on some buildings and reconsidering the use of them, that is better than losing officers.”

Chief Superintendent Hardern said thousands could be saved by shutting Ovenden Police Station alone.

And an ongoing review of the public helpdesks across West Yorkshire Police could save £2m - the equivalent of 50 police officers.

He stressed he still wanted police officers out on patrol across Calderdale.

Outside of Brighouse, Halifax and Todmorden, officers would have contact points, possibly shared with other agencies.

And he said there will still be various ways the public can use to contact officers.

“I want us to be more accessible by being out there,” he said. “Rather than waiting for people to come to us, we should be out there, making ourselves available.”

The station in Bradford Road was re-opened after three years as part of a pilot scheme in September 2009 after residents told officers it was a top priority to reopen the building.

After the trial, the force secured funding from the West Yorkshire Police Authority in April 2010 meaning the police station remained open permanently with people being able to go into the building between 1pm and 4pm Monday to Friday.

Since the move last year, officers said that public confidence had grown.