PCC Budget Plans for Protecting the Frontline
5th February 2021
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has announced his plans for the Police budget in 2021/2022, outlining his continued commitment to help rebuild and protect frontline policing.
It will see an additional 251 officers and 73 police staff recruited and invested into protecting local communities and sustaining the level of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) up to 566 as part of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams throughout the county.
The Commissioner presented the details to members of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. It increases the police element of council tax (called the precept) on average by around 26p per week for most households (61%) that are in Bands A and B, with the B and D property level remaining the 3rd lowest police precept in England and Wales.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson OBE said:
“Protecting the people of West Yorkshire has been central to my approach in preparing this latest budget, which both builds upon the foundations we have already laid, whilst taking account of what lies on the horizon.
“To arrive at this decision, I have carefully considered the views of the public, government announcements and the recommendations made to me by the Chief Constable and key community safety partners, including the Police and Crime Panel, who I thank for their support in what are difficult decisions to make.
“We must not forget that policing in West Yorkshire is still recovering from years of cuts, £140 million and 2000 police jobs between 2010 and 2019, and the challenges continue to grow both in volume and complexity in dealing with issues around safeguarding children, domestic abuse, cyber-crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It has also been a year like no other and I am acutely aware of the financial impact that the ongoing Covid pandemic is having upon our communities. The role of the police, however, continues to be critical in managing the social repercussions of the virus and I know just how much people value the unwavering commitment of officers and staff, who have stepped up to the challenges on all our behalf’s throughout Covid-19.
“The public feedback from my earlier precept survey simply reflects the support which the police have in our communities, despite the ongoing difficulties they are facing, with a majority (80%) supporting the level of increase proposed. I thank all those who took the time to deliver their views and enabled me to shape a budget that primarily revolves around local needs and priorities, and will enable us to make further progress in reducing crime and keeping West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.
“Maintaining and rebuilding front-line operational resilience and visibility is still imperative in meeting current and future challenges. So far during this financial year, West Yorkshire Police have appointed 301 new student officers and there are plans to appoint a further 132 before the end of March 2021. In addition, 23 transferees have joined the Force since 1 April 2020 and a further 9 are to be appointed by the end of January.
“I continue to work closely with West Yorkshire Police and our partners to look at how we can work better together to make the best use of our available resources, whilst delivering improved community safety outcomes and increasing satisfaction levels with the service provided.
“The plans I have set out will ensure sustainable policing services to the people of West Yorkshire with the Neighbourhood Policing model at its core, which is what people tell me they want and I pledged to help rebuild when I was elected into this role.
“Although at this point, it is unclear what the settlement will be for Policing in the next Government Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), I believe this budget will put us in the strongest possible position, bearing in mind the numerous pressures upon policing and the uncertainty of core Government funding moving forwards.”