New police commander calls for 'patience and understanding' in the Wakefield district

A new officer is calling for “patience and understanding” among communities when it comes to reporting crimes.

Chief Superintendent Mark McManus has been named the new commander for the Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford area this week, having taken over from the retiring Paul Hepworth.

Chief Superintendent Mark McManus has been named the new commander for the Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford area this week, having taken over from the retiring Paul Hepworth.

Chief Superintendent Mark McManus has been named the new commander for the Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford area this week, having taken over from the retiring Paul Hepworth.

And he was quick to outline his vision to build bridges with communities following years of damaging austerity measures.

While the well-documented reduction in officers is not within his control, he says issues over how calls to the police are handled perhaps needs greater transparency.

He said: “It’s about us being honest with the public and to make them aware of the demands that we face and the complexities of some of the issues that we face day to day.

“We have to strike a balance so they understand the position we are in.

Chief Superintendent Mark McManus has been named the new commander for the Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford area this week, having taken over from the retiring Paul Hepworth.

Chief Superintendent Mark McManus has been named the new commander for the Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford area this week, having taken over from the retiring Paul Hepworth.

“The public needs to understand what we can and can’t come out to now. Each incident is not going to get a police officer turning up.

“It’s similar to doctors, years ago they would come out to your house, that doesn’t really happen anymore, you’re getting more and more telephone appointments.

“All services are under pressure from shrinking resources.”

Chief Supt McManus has urged people to continue reporting crimes, but with regular backlogs and extended waiting times on the non-emergency 101 number, he is encouraging people to report incidents online with the West Yorkshire Police Live Chat, where he says reports can be made much quicker.

Meanwhile, he has set his sights on early-intervention initiatives and offender management, while anti-social behaviour is also high on his agenda.

Starting his career as an officer in Halifax in 1989, the 49-year-old father-of-two has worked at Leeds and Calderdale, where he became a chief inspector.

He then became a detective chief inspector at Bradford, before moving to West Yorkshire Police HQ to work as a senior investigating officer at the force’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, where he investigated murders and other serious offences.