Campaign mounts over Morley police station opening
ONE of the candidates vying to win the role of over-seeing the county’s police force was in town on Friday to back a campaign against cutting Morley Police Station’s opening hours.
Mark Burns-Williamson, Labour’s Candidate to be Police and Crime Commissioner, visisted the Corporation Street station to back MP Ed Balls’ campaign to save its helpdesk and to support the local neighbourhood police team.
Mr Burns-Williamson, Mr Balls and Morley councillor Neil Dawson met with the NPT leader Insp Paul Sullivan and signed a pledge to support strong neighbourhood policing.
They also discussed the results of Mr Balls’s consultation of 12,000 Morley residents, which has seen over 800 people sending in their views on the future of policing in Morley.
“It was great to have Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, in Morley backing our campaign to keep our police station helpdesk open on Saturdays and using his role to champion strong neighbourhood policing.
“West Yorkshire needs a police commissioner who will stand up for frontline policing - it’s clear in Mark we have a candidate who will support and champion our strong neighbourhood policing teams here in Morley.
“Hundreds of local people have told me that they want to keep Morley’s Police Station helpdesk open on Saturdays. They’ve also told me how much they value our great neighbourhood policing teams. It’s really good news Mark is backing our campaign to keep the help desk open.
“And I’m encouraged by the fact that the Chief Constable and others are listening to the views that have been expressed and will be looking again at the proposals for the opening hours in Morley.”
Mr Burns-Wiliamson said the responses collected from Morley people needed to be taken into account before any final decisions could be taken about changing the helpdesk opening hours.
“The reckless £100 million cuts imposed on West Yorkshire by the Tory-led Government have put the police in an impossible position. Chief constables are under massive pressure to cut budgets, but there are measures I think we can take,” he said.
“At the moment half of the money secured by the police from proceeds of crime goes straight back to the Treasury. I’m campaigning for the full amount to come back to the police force here in West Yorkshire. If that money was available we might not be facing difficult decisions like this one regarding Morley Police Station opening hours.”
Coun Dawson, Community Safety Champion for Leeds City Council in Morley said, he wanted to see Morley Town Council and Leeds City Council’s Outer South Area Committee working together to see whether money could be found locally to combine with limited police funding and keep the police station helpdesk open.
He said: “Given my positions on both those bodies, I’ve been asked to oversee a group, looking at options available. I’m confident we’ll be able to find a solution that will safeguard resources for a wide-range of community safety initiatives and ensure we keep Morley Police Station helpdesk open to the public at times they’ve told us they want it.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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