Last Wednesday I posted an e-mail from a colleague on council about the closing of front desks at police offices in Bradford. The proposal has now popped up in the local newspaper and the Chief Supt has a comment:
Bradford South Divisional Commander, Chief Supt Simon Atkin, said the demand for public inquiry counter services had reduced. A consultation earlier this year found eight out of ten residents surveyed said they hadn’t visited an inquiry counter in the past year.
My colleague had this to say on the subject:
"Some months later The Chief Supt called as usual to use the police car to drive to and from work and informed the officers at the station that it would soon be closed in the evening as there was no demand for it to be open. The PC produced the Callers Book and said what about this demand! Mr Long was very angry and snatched the book from the PC and threw it across the room."
Might well be a different senior police officer but it's clear that this closure was planned long ago and the Police Authority had no intention of consulting residents about it - or even local MPs and Councillors it seems. Expect the decision to be put down to "cuts" rather than lousy management. And that management problem is beautifully displayed by the hand-wringing buck-passing from the Chair of the Police Authority:
Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority Coun Mark Burns-Williamson said it was the responsibility of divisional commanders to consult councillors, MPs and members of the public about the plans
So what is the Police Authority for then? There's a couple of million pounds spent on Cllr Burns-Williamson's little empire over in Wakefield, what exactly do they do with all that money?And don't you just love the police's response:
Anyone who would like to give their views should contact their NPT
These are the beat coppers, the bit of the police force that's doing the job us residents want - patrolling local communities, being on hand to deal with crime, anti-social behaviour and so forth. They're not there to act as the means by which the police 'consult' on decisions to close down services to the public.
So here's a thought - trying writing directly to Cllr Burns-Williamson: