Officers and staff have begun moving into the new Leeds District Police Headquarters at Elland Road.
The move follows the change in late 2013, from three Leeds divisions to one single district as part of West Yorkshire Police’s New Operating Model, which has seen eight divisions replaced by five districts county wide.
The creation of a single base is also expected to create more opportunities for partner agencies to work with police to better serve Leeds communities.
The move supports other changes implemented this week, in which ward-based neighbourhood policing teams will now work more closely with partners and communities, providing a more localised service to the public.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “The new Leeds District Headquarters will bring together a number of teams currently working out of Holbeck and Millgarth Police Stations, allowing for closer working between departments.
“There is also scope for partner agencies to work from the new facility further enhancing our already strong links towards the common goal of making our communities safer and feeling safer.”
A phased movement of teams in to the new facility is being carried out over the next few weeks. The building is set to be fully operational by Wednesday April 30.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “The opening of the purpose built headquarters for Leeds is another big step in the direction of closer integrated working with partners and ensuring that modern and efficient facilities will help to lower our overall costs by replacing out of date buildings.
“In addition, the working environment for many staff will improve markedly and create new and exciting opportunities for innovation and joint working with partners.
“The scale, ambition and hard work that has gone into making all these developments a reality places West Yorkshire Police in an enviable position to ensure the public of West Yorkshire are served in the best possible way by their police service for many years to come.
“Working more efficiently means officers and staff on the front-line will be a more visible presence in the communities they serve which is a key outcome set out in the Police and Crime Plan.”
Mark Gilmore, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Moving to a local district policing approach supports our primary focus on front line, visible policing, working with partners to ensure we have a service that best meets our communities’ future needs.
“We have realigned the 17 neighbourhood policing teams directly to the 33 council ward boundaries, creating a truly local service where each ward will have a named sergeant and a local, familiar, visible team of dedicated neighbourhood officers. They will work alongside partners, to coordinate resources to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and resolve local problems.”
The Leeds District Headquarters is one of three Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects providing new facilities for policing teams in the county. Teams moved in to the new Wakefield District Headquarters in November and officer and staff training is now up and running at the Specialist Operational Training Centre at Carr Gate near Wakefield.
Under the PFI model, the contractors Interserve will provide facilities management services, including cleaning, repairs and ground maintenance, for the next 25 years.
To view an image of the new HQ, go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MorleyObserver or follow us on twitter @MorleyOb