‘£34m police cuts are a step too far’

DAMAGING CUTS West Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.
DAMAGING CUTS West Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.
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West Yorkshire Police must find almost £34m of savings in the next 12-months after bigger than expected funding cuts.

Mark Burns-Williamson, the county’s police and crime commissioner, hit out at the government claiming the cuts ‘go too far.’

The Home Office police grant figures announced last week mean West Yorkshire Police has to find more than £33.8million in savings next year, on top of the £103m made in the last three years.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “These continued and relentless cuts are deep and damaging and go too far.

“Money needs to go towards frontline policing to help people feel safe, not government grants to other organisations.”

The comments came after cash from the Home Office was shifted to counter-terrorism work and to police complaints and inspection procedures.

As a result, West Yorkshire Police will receive £319.3m in 2015–16, down from £335.5m this year – a reduction of more than five per cent.

Mr Burns-Williamson added: “Increasingly as budgets get even tighter we are going to look at more joint working with other partners and agencies.

“We’ve lost 2,000 police officers and staff since 2010 so we are trying to focus what resources we have left into local policing.

“But I have to be honest and say that the scale of cuts are huge and, politics aside, whoever is elected in the General Election next year needs to think hard about the level of resources they give to local policing.”

Policing Minister Mike Penning denied there was a looming police crisis, pointing out that crime had fallen.