PIONEERING ‘street surgeries’ will be expanded in Keighley in 2018 due to the success of this year’s pilot schemes.

Police and Bradford Council staff came together to meet local people during special patrols in various neighbourhoods across the town.

Residents were able to stop the officers as they passed to ask questions, pass on concerns and point out crime and litter hotspots.

Sgt Pete Softley, from Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team, this week revealed that 23 street surgeries were planned from spring next year, with better times, a longer duration and fixed start and finish points.

He said: “It will be the warmer months either side of the school holidays, so there is better footfall and higher interaction with public.

“They will start at a fixed point such as finishing time at a school then progress to the streets, before finishing at a fixed point in the early evening, like a church hall, community centre, for people finishing work.”

“This year we reached more people and a more diverse audience than any traditional neighbourhood forums.”

Cllr Zafar Ali, chairman of the council’s Keighley Area Committee which developed the street surgeries, accompanied the officers this year on trial surgeries in Highfield, Beechcliffe, Utley and Keighley town centre.

He said: “I think people welcomed the surgeries, and it enhanced the relationship between the police and the public. People came along, even young people.

“Residents were able to show the police and council officers where the problems were and tell us about problems such as nuisance, drugs, fly tipping and litter.”

Dates and start/finish locations will be publicised early next year, so people can get in touch beforehand to request specific places for the officers to stop on their route.

The council will invite other organisations to go along where appropriate.