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All change at the top as Kirklees gets new police chief

CS Julie Sykes.
CS Julie Sykes.

Police in Kirklees will have a new District Commander calling the shots as of next week as Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes takes the reigns.

Chief Superintendent Sykes will start her new post on 23 July, replacing Steve Cotter, who has been posted to a new appointment as District Commander in Leeds.

Julie, who was a former Superintendent in Kirklees, will be moving from her current role as Chief Superintendent and Head of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department.

She has had almost 25 years’ of experience in policing, all of which has been within West Yorkshire.

Julie has had a variety of roles across the Force area including previous stints at Kirklees as a Detective Constable, Inspector and as Superintendent.

Chief Superintendent Sykes also spent a number of years in Leeds at Chief Inspector in City and Holbeck and also the Partnerships and Neighbourhood Policing lead for two years before she took on the role as Divisional Crime Manager.

She then led the District Crime Portfolio for Leeds; which was the three policing divisions which now make up the Leeds Policing District. As part of this role, Julie worked closely with the Local Authority and Social Care partners on the integration of the Police Adult and Child Safeguarding units, which is now a single unit for the city.

Julie left Leeds on promotion to Superintendent to work in the North East Counter Terrorism Unit as the North East Regional Prevent Lead across the seven North East police forces before moving back to Kirklees in 2013 as the Superintendent for Operational Policing across the District.

The new District Commander said she was delighted to have assumed her new role in Kirklees.

She said: “As someone who is Kirklees born and bred, it is a great pleasure to once again be moving back to Kirklees after almost three years as Chief Superintendent leading the Force Professional Standards Directorate.

“I am looking forward to my new role and the challenges ahead.”

Reflecting on his time as Kirklees District Commander, Steve said: “I am proud to have served in Kirklees, with committed staff, partners and communities who all work together to make Kirklees safer.

“We have relaunched our neighbourhood policing teams, working closely with communities and partners, successfully making the district safer.

"We have invested resources into safeguarding the vulnerable within our communities. We have taken an innovative approach to tackling gangs, using civil orders and our enforcement powers to bring those who would cause harm to our communities to justice.

“I will always look back fondly on my time in Kirklees and the great relationships I have benefitted from whilst working here.

"I will always be very proud of the officers and staff within the District, who have performed exceptionally whilst responding to some tragic and challenging incidents over the past three years.

"Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes will be replacing me, I am delighted that she is local to Kirklees and cares passionately about the area. I now look forward to starting in Leeds and building on the excellent legacy left by Chief Superintendent Paul Money.”