Statement on the Comprehensive Spending Review (25 Nov 2015)

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has cautiously welcomed the announcement that the Policing budget will not be cut any further.

The PCC had warned the Government not to take a gamble with community safety in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announced today.

And in his statement today Chancellor George Osborne proved that he had listened to the concerns by pledging not to cut the policing budget any further.

Mark Burns-Williamson, said:

"I have campaigned tirelessly for the Government to sit up and take notice about what cuts of between 25% and 40%, which were threatened, would have meant for community safety and neighbourhood policing. In recent weeks I have provided a detailed briefing to MPs setting out the challenges cuts of between 25% and 40% would mean for West Yorkshire Police. I also met a number of MPs, the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister to set out those concerns.

"I of course welcome today's announcement but it will take time to assess the full devil of the detail of the CSR.

"What I do know is that West Yorkshire Police has already had to face significant cuts - and the organisation has reduced from one with over 10,000 officers and staff in 2010 to one with fewer than 8,000 officers and staff now. We must still find at least £5.8 million of savings by 2017 and deliver the substantial savings already identified.

"It is also important to remember that keeping our communities safer and feeling safer is done in partnership with other organisations. Many of those have seen their budgets cut too and will see them reduce further after today's CSR."

West Yorkshire Police, Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins said:
"I welcome the news that further cuts will not be introduced and we will continue to work hard with our partners to keep our communities safe.
"The additional flexibility offered to Police and Crime Commissioners in managing local precepts is also a positive note and could potentially assist in our recruitment plans.
"Despite today's announcement, however, we must still find £5.8m by 2017 and deliver the substantial savings which we have already identified.
"There is still some detail which we need to understand, particularly in terms of funding central projects and we will be considering this in more depth over the coming days.
"What is clear, is that the public have raised some valid concerns and have shown how much they value the service that the police provide here in West Yorkshire.
"Their voices have been heard, and it has ensured that we are now in a stronger position for the future." 

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