PCC responds to HMICFRS State of Policing Report (5 July 2019)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "This is a comprehensive Report by Sir Tom Winsor which highlights the very real challenges facing policing and criminal justice today.

"I have already called for, and agree, that the need for fairer multiyear financial settlements are crucial to give PCCs and forces, including West Yorkshire Police, certainty, stability and predictability, but that assurance has not been forthcoming from the government, who continue to give us 12 month financial settlements which is no way to deal with the fight against crime.

"This report follows on in a similar vein to those recently published by the Home Affairs Select Committee and Public Accounts Committee that shows policing continues to face many demands and challenges on all fronts including dealing with growing criminal exploitation by gangs and cyber crime. It also underlines a lack of strategic support and direction from Government in line with the other reports.

"It is testament to police officers and staff that despite the challenges outlined in this report the communities of West Yorkshire receive a service graded as 'good' from the police force in relation to their effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy as assessed by the independent inspection.

"Tom Winsor also highlights the need for rehabilitation to be taken much more seriously which is something I have been highlighting and working towards for some time. I therefore support the recent announcement to bring probation services back under one umbrella which should help those individuals needing the appropriate support, but those changes are some 18 months away and in the meantime too many people released from prison into communities go on to commit more offences.

"The rehabilitation of offenders ties into the aims of my recently launched Reducing Re-Offending Strategy for West Yorkshire. The strategy looks to facilitate and increase partnership working and focus on particular areas where the biggest benefits will be achieved for our communities.

"The report also mentions the need to better use modern technology to help increase efficiency. This is something that I have also championed in West Yorkshire, particularly around the implementation and use of handheld devices and body worn video, the impact of which is helping to improve policing practices on a daily basis.

"We all know that a whole system approach and early intervention measures are needed to help tackle violent crime in particular and I support PCCs having more responsibility to ensure that we can make that happen through more coordination of community safety measures.

"National political leaders will need to work more closely with PCCs, policing and the wider criminal justice system to ensure that the very real challenges highlighted are tackled systematically to ensure that major improvements for the safety of our communities are made."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019