CSI cops move out of district

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MORE police officers are moving out of Calderdale in a bid to make massive spending cuts.

Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) will no longer be based at Halifax Police Station. Instead, they will be deployed from three centres in Leeds, Bradford and Heckmondwike.

The move follows a shake-up of roads policing which, as reported by the Courier, will see traffic cops based in Bradford instead of Calderdale from today.

No jobs have been axed but the Courier understands there will be less traffic officers across the force, with some being moved into different policing roles.

Both moves have been made as West Yorkshire Police try to meet drastic budget cuts enforced by the Government.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said the SOCO re-haul is part of the wider organisational change programme within the scientific support division and the force.

He said SOCO will still have office space at Halifax Police Station where they can work when they are deployed to Calderdale.

“As part of the requirement for the force to deal with a reduction in spending one of the main reasons for these changes was to improve overall supervision and reduce overheads and the move to three bases will mitigate any impact on efficiency and effectiveness of the SOCO provision in West Yorkshire,” he said.

“This change only relates to where SOCO staff will start and finish their working day. SOCO still has accommodation at Halifax police station from which to work during their shift deployed here.

“The provision of SOCO across West Yorkshire is a key tool in the ongoing fight against crime and overall numbers of staff remain largely unchanged.

“We remain confident, due to the changes implemented, that the Force and the public will not see a deterioration in service.”

Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Sir Norman Bettison has predicted thousands of police jobs could be lost because of the spending cuts.

In a letter to Calderdale councillor Tim Swift (Lab, Town) earlier this year he predicted as many as 500 police officer jobs and 1,000 civilian support roles could be lost over the next four years. After natural wastage, he estimated it would mean 300 forced redundancies for police staff over the next two years.