Police stations in Elland, Sowerby Bridge, Ovenden and Hebden Bridge may have to shut because of Government spending cuts

Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern.

GOVERNMENT spending cuts could mean police stations in Sowerby Bridge, Elland, Hebden Bridge and Ovenden will shut.

Chief superintendent Chris Hardern, divisional commander for Calderdale Police, says he will have some difficult decisions to make over the coming months to meet slashes in spending, and he would rather close buildings than cut police numbers.

West Yorkshire Police has been hit by cuts in its budget amounting to 20 per cent by 2015.

“Tough decisions need to be made,” he said.

“If the impact is on some buildings and reconsidering the use of them , that is better than losing officers.”

Chief Superintendent Hardern said thousands could be saved by shutting Ovenden Police Station alone.

And an ongoing review of the public helpdesks across West Yorkshire Police could save £2m - the equivalent of 50 police officers.

He stressed he still wanted police officers out on patrol across Calderdale.

His vision would be for police stations to remain in Halifax, Brighouse and Todmorden.

In other areas, officers would have contact points, possibly shared with other agencies.

And he said there are will still be various ways the public can use to contact officers.

“I want us to be more accessible by being out there,” he said.

“Rather than waiting for people to come to us, we should be out there, making ourselves available.”