THE new head of policing in Kirklees has said he is committed to keeping bobbies on the beat in the face of public sector cuts.
Chief Insp Tim Kingsman, the new divisional commander of Kirklees Police, said forces across the country could expect ‘significant’ cuts – but he said he believed neighbourhood policing was important and would not be changing it.
He said: “Financially on the whole things are not good for the public sector. We don’t know what that means for Kirklees, but I am not going to do anything to change neighbourhood policing.
“This is the first time I’ve worked in Kirklees. It’s a large area and there is a lot of localism. People are proud of where they live. Other than the council, people don’t talk Kirklees – they talk Batley, Dewsbury, Mirfield and Spen Valley.
“Batley’s Insp Neil Money is from the town, he loves Batley, he lives and breathes it and cares about it and that to me is a really good example of what I want people to do.
“I am passionate about policing – it’s all I ever wanted to do from the age of five. I am passionate about it and making things better for people.
“All divisions across the force are taking part in the local policing review and we are interested in the public view of policing and what’s really important to communities. We’d encourage people to speak to their local policing team – it’s important over the next couple of years that I know what people want.”
Chief Insp Kingsman said he had been in the police force for 22 years, working across West Yorkshire in the operation support unit, public order, in headquarters’ regional agenda, and worked during the Bradford riots. His last post was as North East Leeds superintendent.
He said: “Our focus is on burglary dwelling – it has been an issue for this force for a number of years. We have made really good gains but there is more to be done. I will focus on reducing crime and organised crime which comes up every now and then.
“We have low levels of violent crime – Kirklees is a safe place to live. The numbers of robberies are very low and we must maintain that. Serious organised crime is low, and part of that is keeping a focus on it. This year we have had a 15 per cent reduction in crime and confidence in policing is up. Burglary and antisocial behaviour is down. These are things that matter to people, so it’s good news and we need to keep that momentum going.”