A RETIRED Keighley police officer is returning to 'duty' to provide support during the coronavirus crisis.

Paul Sullivan spent three decades with the force, including a number of years in Keighley.

He was elected a Conservative councillor on Bradford Council in May last year, representing Bingley Rural.

Now he has responded to a call from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick for former officers, who have retired within the past five years, to come forward and help out during the emergency.

Councillor Sullivan has been in contact with West Yorkshire Police to discuss a suitable deployment, which he hopes will dovetail with his council duties.

He said: "Like everyone throughout the country and indeed around the world, I have been taken aback by the threat which the community faces.

"My quite relaxed retirement became very busy when I decided to be involved with my community as a village, then ward, councillor.

"Like Bradford district councillors of all political persuasions, I have responded during this crisis by digging in with volunteers from different backgrounds, to help local people and the wider community.

"When I heard that Cressida Dick was calling on former police officers to support the service, I was delighted.

"At a time when the Government is looking to recruit an extra 20,000 officers and we are faced with such an unprecedented challenge, it feels like my natural calling to protect my local community.

"I will be delighted if the wealth of experience of former West Yorkshire police officers can be mobilised to more effectively help in this our generation's darkest hour."

Councillor Sullivan began patrolling the streets of Keighley as the 'town bobby' in 1995, and spent 12 years in the role.

His last eight years with the force were spent in another post, but having special responsibility for the Keighley part of the district.

Since retiring he has maintained involvement in the town through teaching English as a second language at the Good Shepherd Centre, serving in the community kitchen at Project 6 and retaining links with Keighley Inter Faith Group.