Comment from the Police and Crime Commissioner on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement (5 Dec 2012)

In response to the Chancellor's autumn statement, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said "In the last week I have met with both the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister in order to strongly argue the case for more money for policing and for community safety in West Yorkshire. I have also warned against any further cuts being made in the Autumn Statement, as the safety of people in communities across West Yorkshire should be a Government priority and not be compromised further.

"We are only half way through a four year period where our funding from the Government has been cut by 20% which is around £100 million. This has already resulted in the loss of nearly 1400 police officers and staff. By the end of four years it is likely there will be total job losses of 2000, including 800 front line police officers.

"The Home Office is one of the Whitehall departments that the Government will require to save an extra 1% in 2013/14 and 2% in 2014/15.  The Chancellor has said he expects spending on front line services to be prioritised, and I look to the Home Secretary to deliver on that commitment by making efficiencies within her own department rather than taking the easy option of passing this on to West Yorkshire Police, which has already suffered more that it's fair share of cuts.

"We won't know until the week before Christmas whether the Home Office will reduce police or community safety funding, or by how much. If the funding were to be reduced by these percentages, that would add at least an extra £6m to the cuts required, equivalent to at least 115 police officers. There is every indication that the grant will continue to fall in 2015/16 and beyond.

"I will do everything I can to protect these jobs, but the level of cuts here already mean that services will be compromised and difficult decisions will have to be made. Further cuts will make the decisions even harder. There are only so many efficiencies that the police force can make.

"I have yet to study the Chancellor's statement in detail to assess its full implications and I shall be writing to the Home Secretary, in advance of the settlement on 19 December, urging her to think about the impact on communities of further cuts to policing."

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