STAFF working at a crime-hit community centre have been ordered to leave work in twos for their own safety.
Since November, 11 cars have been broken into at the Deighton Centre.
Now an email has been sent to employees at the Deighton Road facility telling them to be careful.
The memo, from Kirklees Council’s building resources team, said: “When returning to your vehicle during the darker evenings and when using the more isolated parts of the car park, please ensure you use the caretakers’ chaperone service or return to your cars in pairs and ensure that your ‘buddy’ is safely off site and vice versa.
“Do not compromise your safety by taking risks – use the services offered or ‘buddy’ up.
“It’s imperative that you work with us to ensure a safe site – we are continuing to work in conjunction with the local policing teams to get further advice on how we can improve security on site.”
The email said police had issued advice to car owners following a recent rise in burglary and car crime in Ashbrow and Deighton.
It said staff should not leave anything on display in their vehicles – including mobile phone chargers, cigarette lighters, suckers on windscreens for sat navs, carrier bags and clothing.
“The thieves will break in for anything they think may contain anything valuable,” the email said.
Kirklees Council said there had been an “unusually high” spate of incidents of cars being broken into.
A spokeswoman said: “Since April 2009 there have been 16 incidents of car crime with most of these involving theft and a couple involving broken windows.
“There have been 11 incidents since November 2009. There have been no reports of other types of crime.
“However, the volume of traffic at the centre needs to be taken into account.
“The average number of people using the centre is in the region of 100,000 each year and around 78,000 cars access the site annually.
“People visit the centre for training, conferences and meetings and we are asking them to make sure they do not leave property on show in their vehicles.
“We are working with the local police and there have now been additional patrols of the area.
“The chaperone service is not new and has always been available through the reception areas for anyone who feels safer being escorted to their vehicle in an area which may be unfamiliar to them.”
Insp Mohammed Rauf, of the Huddersfield North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are aware of the local concerns and are continuing to monitor the area with our regular patrols.
“The local Police Community Support Officer will be working closely with the on-site security which has been introduced in order to help tackle any issues.
“I have personally been working with the Estates Manager and the Community Safety Officer from the centre about ways to address the situation.
“The Deighton Centre serves as a community hub, not just for people locally, but for those outside of the area and we will be helping the site to educate its visitors about vehicle and personal security.
“There has been an arrest in relation to a theft from a vehicle and we will continue to robustly clamp down on anyone committing such an offence.”