Town ‘is a safe place to live and work’

New Calderdale district police superintendent Martin Lister
New Calderdale district police superintendent Martin Lister

A POLICE chief has vowed that officers in Sowerby Bridge are well supported and the town is a “safe place to live, work and socialise”.

Calderdale Supt Martin Lister’s comments come on the back of a reshuffle of officers on the Central Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Insp Derrick Oldham has been appointed to lead Central NPT (Neighbourhood Police Team) to replace outgoing inspector Simon Spencer.

Sgt Mick Richmond, who led the team for Sowerby Bridge, has transferred into response and he has been replaced by Sgt Jonathan Firth.

The moves come just over a week after a ward forum meeting in Sowerby Bridge heard that three out of four of the town’s dedicated police officers were currently on maternity leave.

Sgt Richmond was at the meeting to answer concerns raised by landlords and business owners who felt they were being let down by the level of policing.

He explained if he was to provide cover for the staff on maternity leave, it would mean taking officers away from other areas of Halifax.

Supt Lister said: “We are delighted to see Insp Derrick Oldham return to Central NPT after supporting the senior management team at Calderdale.

“He is returning to an area he knows and enjoys working in.

“He will be reviewing the operational effectiveness of the NPT to ensure that we continue to support the needs of Sowerby Bridge and other areas within the Central Neighbourhood Policing area.

“There are several NPT officers who cover Sowerby Bridge and surrounding areas, always supported by response, roads policing, CID officers and the Special Constabulary and there is always capacity to support these officers with other police and partnership resources, should the need arise.

“Sowerby Bridge is a safe place to live, work and socialise and Insp Oldham looks forward to working with the community and partners to address any areas of concern within Sowerby Bridge and other Central Neighbourhood Policing areas.”