PCC and Chief Officers on the Front Line (20 Jan 2014)

West Yorkshire Police Chief Officers and the Police and Crime Commissioner have been on the policing front line in recent weeks.

Chief Constable Mark Gilmore spent New Year's Eve night in Leeds, including visits to local police stations, accompanied by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson. Last week, new Deputy Chief Constable Dee Collins worked alongside traffic officers on patrol.

Chief Constable Gilmore and Mr Burns-Williamson attended a briefing for an ongoing operation aimed at reducing violent crime, keeping the city centre safe and providing a high visibility deterrent to public order problems. The joint operation is run with partners incorporating Street Angels, taxi marshall's, door staff and West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service.

They also attended a street briefing with partners outside a city nightclub.

In the early hours of the morning, Chief Constable Gilmore and a colleague were flagged down on Briggate by a private hire driver. He said that a man had damaged his taxi and there was a large dent on the bonnet of his car.

He pointed out the suspect, who was about 20 metres away and as the Chief Constable and his colleague went to speak to him, he ran off.

They gave chase on foot for several minutes, before the Chief Constable eventually caught him on the Headrow and with assistance from other colleagues, arrested him for causing criminal damage.

"I am extremely proud of the police officers who are out there, day in, day out, keeping people safe and feeling safe.

"As Chief Constable, my responsibilities don't allow me to get out on the ground as often as I would like. But I and my Chief Officer colleagues really value regular operational involvement and ensure we make time for it.

"That is why I have implemented a 'ditch the desk' policy encouraging senior officers and staff at all levels to get out and spend time with their staff each month. It gives managers a better understanding of the issues their staff are dealing with daily and also gives us a chance to discuss any potential problems and solutions."

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson said: "Protecting frontline policing is imperative and evenings such as this once again demonstrate how hard officers and staff work at reducing and preventing crime.

"It's good to see that the Chief Constable and other senior officers are 'keeping their hand in' regular operational visits when arrests have to be made. I experienced something very similar whilst out with a Neighbourhood Policing Team in Halifax recently when within 10 minutes of a call being received a suspect to a car crime was identified and arrested.

"Improving police visibility so communities are safer and feel safer, tackling anti-social behaviour and public disorder with this approach is working as our visits on New Year's Eve demonstrated. I also want to thank all the partners for their hard work in preventing public order problems."

On Thursday, 16th January, new Deputy Chief Constable Dee Collins was out with a roads traffic team. During their evening's work, they stopped a suspect vehicle in Thornbury, Bradford. Three men made off from the car but were arrested on suspicion of burglary offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom also spent New Year's Eve on patrol, spending time in Huddersfield, Halifax and Bradford.

After visiting officers at Bradford and Huddersfield, ACC Milsom and a colleague dealt with a man walking up a dual carriageway in Huddersfield, escorting him off the road to prevent an accident.

In the early hours of the morning, he also took part in some high visibility patrols, initially in Bradford, then in Keighley, where he met a number of people in high spirits, wending their way home from the night's celebrations.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019