Now you can find a PC a little closer to home

POLICE calls for the district will soon be handled by staff in Calderdale instead of Wakefield.

A control room, which will despatch officers to incidents, is set to open at Halifax Police Station in September after feedback from callers said they wanted their inquiries to be dealt with by someone who knows and works in the area and understands local issues.

Chief Inspector Mick Hanks, of the communication division, said: “Control room operators will be working alongside operational front line colleagues as part of the same team, rather than remotely from each other. This will enable them to work together more closely, sharing information and local knowledge to help improve the service.”

Currently the force operates from a call handling centre at Wakefield and two dispatch centres, one covering the eastern and one the western side of the county.

Parts of Bradford has been operated by a local control room as part of a pilot and considerable improvements have been made with the speed the division has been able to get local officers to incidents.

This has helped to improve the confidence and satisfaction of the community according to Chief Insp Hanks.

As well as improving customer service and local accountability the move is also providing the Force with some further efficiencies, as part of its measures to meet budget restrictions.

“There has been some initial cost in getting everything in place to make the moves possible, but this has been more than offset in efficiency savings the projects bring about,” added Chief Insp Hanks.

“The creation of the divisional control rooms has been timed to coincide with a previously planned upgrade of some of the Force’s critical IT and telephone systems.”