THE PUBLIC help desk at Weetwood Police Station has closed.

The move, part of a force-wide efficiency drive by West Yorkshire Police, was announced back in May and implemented this week.

Six other stations across West Yorkshire, including those at Ilkley and Shipley, have also closed their Public Enquiry Counters.

The force says the facilities were being under-used, with a recent survey showing that an 'overwhelming majority' of people now choose to contact the police by other means, including phone, e-mail or social media, instead.

Otley and Yeadon ward councillors had spoken out against the closure at Weetwood when the proposal was first revealed - arguing that it would leave local residents with too far to travel to an alternative station.

They had also appealed for Otley Police Station's front desk* to be re-opened to provide a more local service.

Responding to this week's news, Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said: "This is a reduction in service and, as I said before, yet another disincentive to contact the police.

"I use the example of, say, finding a mobile phone - if a local member of the public wants to hand one in they now have to go to Elland Road or Leeds city centre.

"Once again I would ask that the force looks at reopening a desk at Otley for residents of North West Leeds."

West Yorkshire Police says the savings made from the front desk closures will be reinvested in front line services.

*The help desk at Otley was closed in July, 2013 after the force said it was being under-used.

A 24-hour monitored video link 'panic room' system was introduced, to allow anyone in trouble to get into the foyer, at the time.