West Yorkshire’s PCC responds to HMICFRS inspection of policing and how they responded to the pandemic
20th April 2021
West Yorkshire Police was one of the forces inspected by HMICFRS for their report released today. (TUE)
Mark Burns-Williamson (PCC) said that he recognised much of the assessment findings, and that overall policing had responded well to the challenges faced with the unprecedented situation of Covid-19.
“I welcome this timely report which outlines the challenges faced by officers and staff, and also how we can learn from the experiences moving forwards,” he said.
“West Yorkshire Police have maintained their effective approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the public, but using enforcement powers when and where it’s necessary for wider public protection purposes. I think it has been a very difficult balance and they have managed it well as this report shows.
“With the pandemic policing demand changed and so services had to adapt, and here in West Yorkshire for example, working with victims in an online setting worked really well for our Victim Support services and also taking statements from victims online in certain circumstances has also been a positive.
“We ensured that support for victims of crime and vulnerable people, were, and are still readily available and accessible throughout.
“Along with West Yorkshire Police, we have worked closely with valued partners through our Tri-services Collaboration Board and the Local Resilience Forum (LRF), including the NHS and Fire & Rescue Service to do all that we could to fight the spread of COVID-19, whilst supporting our communities and key workers. I am pleased the effectiveness of the LRF arrangements has also been highlighted in the report demonstrating a coordinated multi-agency approach.
“I have been in regular contact with the Chief Constable throughout on how West Yorkshire Police were adapting and responding to Covid-19, and assured that the situation has been managed effectively in such challenging circumstances for which I pay tribute to them, our partners and communities.
“However, this has been a trying time for all of us, but I want to take this opportunity to thank police officers and staff who put themselves in harm’s way to ensure they have been doing their best for the communities they serve. I think this report reflects the challenges faced, quite rightly, but also the good work being done and the flexible approaches to ensure our most vulnerable were getting the support when they needed it most.”