POLICE will be working out of a “sardine can” office for five years, a councillor has warned.
Lindley Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) moved into temporary offices after Oakes police station closed.
The officers are now based in Sykes Mill, opposite Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Team member Sgt Mick Semenczuk said: “We’re in a temporary station in a Portacabin with no phone, no computer and no public access.”
He added that police bosses had decided against giving the officers mobile phones.
Sgt Semenczuk said: “It was a cost decision because the phones would have to be on contracts.”
He added: “The move was in the offing for 12 months, but I got one day’s notice. I think we will be there for two years because I think they have rented it for two years.”
Clr Christine Stanfield has been to see the portable building.
The Lindley Lib Dem said: “I was appalled that the police are expected to work from a sardine can that looks like it’s fallen off a liner.
“If the police are really taking neighbourhood policing seriously, local officers should be highly visible, not stuck in a box down a back street behind a factory.
“Their presence in the area should be obvious to all as it gives confidence to the locals.”
And Clr Stanfield fears the team will be based in the temporary building for a long time.
She said: “I am willing to bet they will be there for at least five years.”
Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield North Area Committee is to write to Kirklees divisional commander Chief Supt Barry South expressing concern about the issue.
He said: “The move from Oakes police station is part of developing our NPTs to be in more accessible locations.
“The move to the temporary location was both facilitated and supported by local elected members, who have been extremely supportive in trying to place our NPT officers in the heart of their locality.”
He added that the building was not a permanent solution.
Chief Supt South added: “I would like to reassure anyone within the locality that the present location, although not ideal, is a temporary measure.
“I would hope that by the end of the year my NPT officers will be permanently located in a position that will greatly enhance our community engagement. Our intention is to move to a permanent site alongside the hospital.”
And Chief Supt South said the officers would soon have computer access.
“The issue around IT will be resolved in the near future. “In the modern era of policing it would be foolhardy for anyone to expect local police to operate without proper technological support.
“I am pleased the area committee has seen the benefits of our NPT and is quick to offer its support.”