A COST-CUTTING scheme means people living in Hebden Bridge can now speak to the police while they browse books.
From today, there will be Hebden Bridge Customer First staff at Hebden Bridge Library who will be able to take non-emergency police inquiries.
The staff will then liaise with police officers.
Leader of Calderdale Council Janet Battye said the aim is to improve customer service and cut costs.
The scheme will run as a pilot and if successful, will be rolled out across other towns where the council has Customer First facilities.
Hebden Bridge has been chosen for the pilot because there is currently no public reception at the town’s police station.
Coun Battye said: “I’m delighted that this is a joint enterprise between ourselves and the police.
“I think that this is a really positive step forward and I’m really pleased to see the council taking a lead in this – this is a step in the direction for the vision we have for ‘community hubs’.”
Divisional Commander for Calderdale Police Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern said: “The biggest benefit for the community is that it is a single point of contact for a variety of services.
“It is a great opportunity for joint working and for sharing services with greater efficiencies.
“Emergency calls to police should still be made by dialling 999 but staff at the centre will be able to help with non-emergency local inquiries.
“They will be able to make an assessment of the situation and either resolve a matter straight away or arrange for a visit or an appointment with a police officer or police community officer.”
The Customer First staff will be there on Mondays between 10am and 5pm, Wednesdays between 10am and 5pm and Thursdays between 10am and 1.30pm.