Yvette Cooper MP and Councillor Denise Jeffery have officially inaugurated a new community hub in Castleford market, designed to offer assistance to those affected by crime or anti-social behaviour.

This hub, the first of its kind in the district located within an indoor market, has been provided without charge. Plans are also underway for a second hub in the city centre of Wakefield.

Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Denise Jeffery, and Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, visited the hub on its inaugural day, engaging with officers from West Yorkshire Police.

Yvette Cooper MP said: “I’ve been working with West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council for months to get more police officers into Castleford and into all our town centres as they have been heavily cut over the last 13 years. So, it is really important and welcome that as a result of our local campaign, we now have additional officers, PCSOs and this new police hub in town. But all towns need more neighbourhood police.

“Town centres should be the beating heart of our communities which means there is no place for anti-social behaviour or crime as everyone needs to be able to feel safe. That’s why I’m also working nationally to set out proposals for 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs.”

Residents and business proprietors may visit the hub from 10 am to 12 pm, Monday through Saturday, to report a crime or seek advice from the police and council teams.

Environmental and enforcement officers, in conjunction with anti-social behaviour teams, will make regular visits to hear your concerns and provide support. Additionally, the space will be available for use by other organisations, including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Wakefield District Housing.

Cllr Denise Jeffery said: “This hub demonstrates our commitment to work with partner organisations to tackle this issue.

“The police are at the frontline of dealing with crime, and the hub will help us work alongside them to stop incidents from escalating, offering guidance and help at an earlier stage.

“Anti-social behaviour blights people’s lives and we will do everything we can to stop it from happening. I would encourage anyone who wants to report an incident or needs advice to visit our hub and have a chat with the officers.”

Inspector Glen Costello, of Wakefield East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This new town centre hub provides a comfortable drop-in space where those living and working in Castleford can come and speak to members of the neighbourhood policing team and other agencies using the space.

“I hope people will make use of this service and take the opportunity to get help and advice and talk to our officers about the work that they are doing with partners to keep people safe in the town centre.”

The project has received funding from the Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.