Union claims jobs and public at risk as West Yorkshire Police reviews its help desks

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A union claims a review of West Yorkshire Police’s help desks will “cost jobs and put the public at risk”.

GMB Union says six police help desks have already shut – including Northgate at Wakefield, Pontefract and Todmorden, fears further closures are possible and those remaining will operate on reduced hours.

It says police support staff who run the help desks would suffer a cut in wages if made to work less hours.

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West Yorkshire residents needing to attend a police station are likely to find the doors locked if these proposals are implemented, and instead will be directed to a yellow telephone near to the entrance where they can be put through to a contact centre,” said the union.

The union fears for people's jobs and wagesThe union fears for people's jobs and wages
The union fears for people's jobs and wages

Rachel Dix, GMB organiser, said: “We will continue to work with West Yorkshire Police in the hope that cuts to vital services and to our members' living standards can be avoided.

“In the event that there is no significant change of direction, we will have no alternative but to ballot our members as to the next steps.”

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: “The force has been reviewing the public help desk provision across its five policing districts.

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"A focused consultation with affected staff on the proposed changes has now concluded. The consultation was extended to ensure that staff and supervisors had adequate opportunity to provide their feedback and input into the business case that will be presented to the Chief Officer Team for consideration.

“The force will keep colleagues and the public updated along with ensuring that any call for service is appropriately responded to when people are in need of help.”