West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner calls on the Home Secretary to Stop the Unfair Cuts to Policing (3 Dec 2012)

West Yorkshire's new Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson's will today challenge the Home Secretary's decision to cut the county's policing budget by £100 million over the next four years when he meets Theresa May.

In his first opportunity to speak directly to the Home Secretary, Mark Burns-Williamson, will argue the need to stop the unfair government cuts to policing and the loss of 2,000 officer and civilian staff jobs in West Yorkshire by March 2015. 

The 20% cuts being made nationally by the Tory led coalition are too far, and too fast. The slashing of the policing service by the coalition government means Police and Crime Commissioners are being forced to implement cuts they do not agree with.

The Tory led coalition spending plans will make it harder for the police to fight crime, but the unfairness of how cuts are being made means the danger of crime being driven up in West Yorkshire with some of the greatest challenges. When you look at the 20% cuts, the reductions in the level of protection for communities will be worse than first thought or feared. 

The threat of the loss of 2000 policing jobs including 800 frontline officers in West Yorkshire by 2015, with significant losses also in forces up and down the country that also have higher levels of crime to deal is not a fair deal when Surrey, for example, are being given the funding for 250 more frontline cops.

This challenge to the Home Secretary comes just a few days after Mark Burns-Williamson urged Policing Minister Damien Green to rethink the unfair level of cuts to funding and how this affects West Yorkshire.

He will join the forty other new Police and Crime Commissioners to discuss policing with the Home Secretary at a special conference in London. West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson says: "The Government cuts are going too far, too fast. West Yorkshire is one of the worst affected regions when it comes to police cuts and the Home Secretary needs to understand that the safety of people across West Yorkshire can't be compromised.

"This year's policing budget is a little over £420m, so cutting roughly a quarter of our budget can only have a negative impact on tackling crime in West Yorkshire. What it means for West Yorkshire is the potential loss of 2000 jobs, including 800 frontline police officers, whilst areas like Surrey, with lower crime rates, are due to receive funding for an additional 250 front line officers.

"The Government needs to stop these unfair cuts now and I will today call on Theresa May to do her job and protect policing across the country so that I can do mine and keep our West Yorkshire communities safe."

The deep and damaging cuts to police funding mean there will be some very tough decisions ahead for police and crime commissioners, especially in the regions worst affected by the cuts. That is why Mark Burns-Williamson's Listening To You First campaign is so important. It provides a real opportunity for people across West Yorkshire to have a say in what their policing priorities are so that West Yorkshire's Police & Crime Commissioner can understand what's really needed in communities across West Yorkshire and fight for the resources needed here to effectively tackle crime.

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