A POLICEMAN who has spent all his career in Dewsbury will now focus on hate crimes in the area.
Pc John Barrett, 41, has been in the police for 19 years and is the new community relations officer for north Kirklees.
He will be based at Cleckheaton police station.
He takes over from Pc Sonny Gogna, who has been promoted to patrol sergeant and will work from Weetwood police station in north Leeds.
Pc Barrett's police experience includes traffic, patrol work and, most recently, as a community beat officer covering the Dewsbury Moor area.
His new role will be to co-ordinate and monitor hate incidents, whether racially motivated or homophobic.
He will then advise fellow officers and liaise with groups such as the Kirklees Racial Equality Council, Victim Support and Kirklees Council.
Pc Barrett will also make sure victims are kept up to date with police inquiries and that they are offered appropriate advice and support.
He said: "I am looking forward to carrying on the good work done by Pc Gogna and to maintaining the relationships he has already forged locally.
"Over the last couple of years I have seen at first hand the work Sonny does and the effect it has on people's lives," he added.
"It has given me a real insight into the job. I see the role as a challenge - one that I am more than happy to take on board."
Dewsbury has the highest number of reported hate incidents in West Yorkshire.
Pc Gogna said: "I believe this is due to the public having confidence in reporting such matters, in the knowledge that positive action will be taken."