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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Police force to reopen helpdesk
A helpdesk at a police station which was controversially closed last year in a bid to cut costs is to reopen.

West Yorkshire Police said the public inquiry desk at Shipley police station, near Bradford, would reopen next month.

The facility was closed in April last year as part of efforts to address a 17.7m budget shortfall.

The public inquiry desk at nearby Bingley station, which effectively closed in January following a staff move, will now remain closed instead.

A recent review highlighted that people were still calling at Shipley police station, even though the public inquiry desk had closed, and that the Bingley desk was rarely used.

Residents' concerns

The desk at Shipley police station will reopen on 24 September.

Supt Gary Baker said: "The decision to close the public inquiry desk at Shipley police station last year was not taken lightly, but the force was reluctantly obliged to make budget cuts in a number of areas.

"We know that the public overwhelmingly want to see police officers out on patrol rather than behind desks.

"We were very much aware of the concerns raised by people in Shipley at the time of the closure and we have taken those concerns into account.

"We have also consulted with our partners in the local authority and other agencies who support the decision to reopen the Shipley facility to the public."

Mr Baker said crime in the Bingley area was continuing to fall.

"We found that the public inquiry desk at Bingley police station was very rarely used. The decision not to reopen it was based upon reasons of efficiency; it makes sense to close it due to the low levels of use."

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