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New inspector for Wakefield district?

Insp Paul Sullivan
Insp Paul Sullivan

The district could gain an extra police inspector as neighbourhood policing across West Yorkshire is given an overhaul.

The west side of the district, covering Wakefield Rural, Wakefield Central and Wakefield North West, is currently overseen by Inspector Helen Brear.

Insp Helen Brear

Insp Helen Brear

And Inspector Paul Sullivan oversees the east side, including Normanton and Featherstone, Pontefract and Knottingley, Castleford, and Wakefield South East.

But the overhaul, set to take place in Spring, would see the district split into three areas instead. Each will consist of an inspector overseeing a minimum of three sergeant-led teams of PCs, PCSOs, Special Constables and volunteers.

The new model was outlined in a report prepared for the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. The report detailed the essential role of neighbourhood policing teams (NPTs) in the effective functioning of all other police departments.

But it said: “Maintaining effective neighbourhood policing under the current structures has become increasingly difficult, due to increased demand for service as well as budget reductions, resulting in neighbourhood PCs and PCSOs used to routinely assist with call demand.

“This not only lessens visibility within communities but also has the knock on effect of limiting time for engagement, problem solving and prevention and early intervention work within their communities, especially with partner agencies.”

Under the new model, 120 additional neighbourhood posts would be created across the force and a minimum of three teams would be formed in each NPT area to ensure early and late shift cover is available in all communities daily. Bradford and Leeds districts would be broken up into six areas each, with four in Kirklees, three in Wakefield and two in Calderdale.

The report said it would allow frontline officers to continue to focus on problem solving and prevention of crime by working with partners, community engagement and early intervention. The proposed date for implementation is March 26 next year.