West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes Parliamentary debate on police funding (5 Nov 2015)

In welcoming the debate in Parliament yesterday West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said:

"I have always argued that the way in which the Government currently allocates money to police forces through the funding formula hits West Yorkshire disproportionately hard which has resulted in millions of pounds being top-sliced to support other areas over many years. West Yorkshire is a very large and urban police force with complex policing challenges including cyber crime, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation to name but a few. The pressure on maintaining a sustainable Neighbourhood Policing presence set against the growing Safeguarding issues the police are faced with on daily basis is particularly acute and will only get worse.

"The impact of this unfair funding formula is being felt hard at the moment because of the severe Government cuts already imposed of over 25% (£140m) through the last 5 years of the Comprehensive Spending Review. With more cuts to come - which could be as high as another 40% - it is important that the Government at the very least gets the funding formula right so it is fairer for areas of high population and demand such as West Yorkshire, especially at a time when the overall police funding available is significantly reducing and therefore the slice of the cake getting smaller!

"The Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham MP launched an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday) about police funding and the proposed new formula. During the debate he told the House how in the past five years 12,000 full-time officers across England and Wales have been lost.

"He also discussed the Government's forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) which is due to be announced later this month and could see an additional 40% of cuts to the overall policing budget.

"I share Andy Burnham's concerns in that this could result in the country having a very different police service providing a much reduced service.

"He mentioned how, even if the Government sticks to the lower end of the threatened cuts of 25% then it would mean 22,000 fewer police officers nationwide than there are today.

"That has obvious implications for West Yorkshire having already lost around 2000 police officers and staff since 2010 and in my view the Government is now taking a risk with our collective public safety by imposing at least the same level cuts again, and more, in this month's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). I have therefore this week provided a detailed brief to all West Yorkshire MPs about the situation facing West Yorkshire Police and what another round of huge budget cuts could mean for the organisation and the 2.3 million residents it serves. I hope they will look at this very seriously and that it gives them the information necessary to join me in the fight against the cuts to the policing budget ahead of the CSR decisions and announcements to be made by the Chancellor George Osborne MP."


© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019