West Yorkshire PCC to meet MPs in a bid to secure a fairer funding deal for the county (14 Nov 2017)

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson will today (TUE) meet West Yorkshire MPs to urge them to support his call to the Government for more funding to police the region.

Mr Burns-Williamson will head to Westminster to warn the region's fellow politicians that current funding arrangements are not enough to keep West Yorkshire safe with most of West Yorkshire Police reserves being spent by 2022.

Up to £11m has been used this year alone to fund frontline policing.

He will urge them to join forces in advance of the budget on November 22 to make the case for a new policing settlement, warning that the current 'flat cash' settlement for local forces does not offer protection from increased demand, inflation or the recent agreed pay rise for officers.

In a letter inviting MPs to the meeting, the PCC warned that police officers and staff are under enormous pressure with steadily rising levels of sickness which is 'not acceptable but also has serious implications for the workforce around recruitment and retention'.

"The price we will pay for an under resourced police service in West Yorkshire is too high," he said.

"The police's ability to combat crime and properly protect the public here in West Yorkshire is under strain and the cost to our communities is being seen in a rise in response times, an increase in crime and a decrease in confidence levels.

"Since 2010, we have had a budget cut of £140m and the loss of 2000 police officers and staff with police numbers at the lowest level for many years. The pressure this has put the police under as forces like ours try to protect frontline policing and find efficiencies elsewhere is significant and, in today's context, unsustainable.

"Our communities need more resources, not less and I am urging MPs to join me in making the case for a fairer funding deal for West Yorkshire in the form of a new police settlement. In our county we continue to police by consent with neighbourhood policing as the cornerstone of community safety but to continue to do this we need to invest more in the frontline."

Mr Burns-Williamson will tell MPs that although he agrees with PCC's being given more flexibility to raise the police element of the council tax locally, without an increase in central Government funding, the tax burden is put on local taxpayers who are less able to pay.

"The only way that we will meet the challenges that we face is for more central investment in local police forces," he said. "I am committed to doing everything I can with partners to support West Yorkshire Police who work so hard day in day out to keep people safe.

"I look forward to meeting colleagues in Westminster today (TUE) to see how we can further support this ambition by securing more funding."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019