LIBERAL Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has praised an innovative community patrol project in Huddersfield.
Kirklees Council is paying for 16 police community support officers for three years to tackle anti-social behaviour and make communities feel safer.
Mr Kennedy met some of the officers at Huddersfield police station yesterday while finding out more about the scheme.
"The officers say the feedback from the public has been excellent," said Mr Kennedy.
"People come out of their homes to tell them how pleased they are to see someone patrolling the streets to deter crime.
"This is what people want and something the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for over many years.
"The funding in Huddersfield has been done in an imaginative way."
Me Kennedy said many police officers were caught up with paperwork and red tape, so using support officers was one way of getting a presence out on the streets.
Kirklees Council's Lib-Dem leader, Clr Kath Pinnock, said the council had agreed with the police to pay for the 16 PCSOs.
She added: "This is a ground- breaking deal."