PCC Comments On The Stevens Review (25 Nov 2013)

Mark Burns Williamson, commenting on the Independent Commission Enquiry into the future of policing in England and Wales said: 

"In the absence of a Royal Commission, I welcome the Stevens Review as it is an important piece of work into the future of policing, long overdue. I also welcome that after extensive consultation Lord Stevens has rightly put a social justice model of neighbourhood policing at the heart of his vision 'Policing for a Better Britain'. 

"West Yorkshire Police has already made huge strides in making the reforms needed to meet the significant challenges we face here. We are creating more effective partnerships to prevent crime and to better solve problems such as anti-social behaviour at a local level. Working together to tackle crime, but also the causes and consequences of crime and build consensus in our communities. 

"We are continuing to embed neighbourhood policing with the number of policing districts reduced from eight to five, better aligning with district council boundaries and councillor areas to enable more seamless partnership working. Along with council leaders and other partners, I have protected the levels of Police and Community Support Officers across West Yorkshire, have pass ported across funding to Community Safety Partnerships at the same level despite the severe cuts, and have increased the council precept to recruit 44 frontline police officers.    

"Police Officers and Staff across West Yorkshire are committed to keeping our communities safe and in recognition of this dedication I have kept the starter salary for recruits at £22,000 per annum, signed the employment rights charter and ensured West Yorkshire Police is a living wage employer. I have also with the Chief Constable, set up an independent review of police complaints and conduct standards to importantly help restore public confidence and faith in the police. I asked Catherine Crawford, former Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Police to conduct the review and Catherine is due to report back next month. 

"Lord Stevens sets out in his review the need to make greater savings and efficiencies. We continue to drive efficiencies without privatisation across West Yorkshire with a new model of regional collaboration that has delivered 2m savings for West Yorkshire alone, collaboration across seven force areas in forensic science services that has also delivered savings of more than 1m and as the lead force for the National Police Air Service we have already delivered over £600,000 savings in insurance costs. 

"It is vital that we get policing, crime prevention and community safety right and I look forward to working with Yvette Cooper and the Shadow Home Office team to build on the good work done by Lord Stevens, to build consensus about what we expect the police to do and to develop policies to ensure that all our communities across West Yorkshire are safer and feel safer."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019