Under-water teams pooled

A new underwater search team has taken over the duties of the four police forces covering Yorkshire and the Humber.

The full-time unit, based at Humberside, consists of a police sergeant and nine specially trained police officers.

Police chiefs are setting up specialised teams to serve the region as they try and balance the books.

The Yorkshire and Humber Underwater Search & Marine Unit will deliver savings of £400,000.

Previously, 28 officers worked within three separate units but only five of them were full-time.

Calderdale man and Deputy Chief Constable Mark Whyman, who is Head of Collaboration for Policing Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The new Underwater Search capability is a welcome addition to our portfolio of operational units.

“Not only is it providing all four forces with access to a dedicated full time team, but costs associated with training and equipment have also been optimised so that the same level of specialist search and recovery support can still be maintained.

“I am confident that the public will not see any difference in service levels, and that the £400,000 saved through creating a full-time team will go support their local neighbourhood policing and response teams.”

Underwater Search’s primary responsibility is to support ongoing police investigations in recovering key evidence or human remains.

However, in the event of a large-scale local emergency, such as the fooding in the Calder Valley earier this year, officers from the unit will be deployed to assist should the need arise.