Stations could face axe in HQ plan

Stations could face axe in HQ plan

THE future of Dewsbury police station could be in doubt after West Yorkshire Police confirmed it is looking to build a new headquarters for the whole Kirklees district.

The force is exploring locations “in and around Kirklees”, but officials say they don’t yet know where it will be constructed.

Dewsbury police station, on Aldams Road, could be closed and officers moved to a new base in South Kirklees, with Huddersfield’s police headquarters also facing an uncertain fate. 

The future of police buildings in Batley and Heckmondwike remains unknown.

Kirklees District Commander Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, said: “We are currently exploring the opportunity for a new district headquarters for the Kirklees district.

“Many of our current buildings are out of date and no longer fit the required demands for 21st century policing.

“The plans are in the very early stages of exploring options and locations in and around Kirklees.

“Any new development would demonstrate our commitment to local policing and to work in the heart of our local communities, providing a greater visible presence on the streets and creating even more opportunities for contact with the public and strengthening our links with our partner agencies.”

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I have approved an outline business case to provide a new district headquarters for the Kirklees district.

“There are many factors to consider before any final decision on location is reached but I want to reassure the communities across Kirklees that any decisions made will be to ensure communities are safe and feel safe.”

Closure claims have been made ever since the Dewsbury and Huddersfield divisions merged to form Kirklees Police in 2005.

The value of the contract for the potential new HQ could be as high as £30m. 

A listing on a website which advertises tendering opportunities for construction firms says the contract value is “£76k-£30m”.

The notice adds: “Description – design and build new police station to serve the Huddersfield and wider Kirklees district.”

A police spokesman added: “At this stage, as it is such an early stage in planning, we are exploring options and locations. Nothing, including the future of current stations has been discussed.”

• A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Kirklees has lost almost 100 police officers in five years.

Numbers fell from 574 to 478 between 2010 and 2015 after hitting a peak of 690 in 2005.

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