PCC responds to extra cuts (6 Dec 2013)

West Yorkshire Police could face extra cuts of nearly £7million in the next two years as a result of the Chancellor's announcement this week.

This is in addition to cuts already announced by the government which mean that savings of around £143m need to be made between 2010/11 and 2016/17 equivalent to over 26% of the budget.

The news in the Autumn Statement has led to West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson warning the government to think very hard before they compromise even further the safety of communities across the region and exacerbate the growing North-South divide in police funding.

The force has already had to make savings of £75m within the last three years and Mr Burns-Williamson fears more cuts locally could compromise services.

The Autumn Statement released on Thursday revealed that the Home Office budget will be cut by an extra £231million by 2016.

Up to 75 per cent of the Home Office budget is on policing and four per cent of that comes to West Yorkshire.

That could mean an extra £3.5million savings to be found for 2014/15 and £3.4million in 2015/16, on top of those already announced.

The cuts maybe absorbed by the Home Office, and Mr Burns-Williamson said he would be urging the Home Office to absorb the extra cuts so delivery of services such as crime prevention were not affected.

"We have secured funding for 44 extra police officers by increasing the precept to ensure we are keeping our communities safe and feeling safe" he said.

"But any more cuts would be particularly difficult for West Yorkshire and communities would potentially suffer.

"I am calling on the Government to ensure everything is done to protect the West Yorkshire Police budget which was highlighted recently by the HMIC report as being disproportionately targeted by Government funding cuts and resource allocation formulas.

"That is why it is important that we get ALL the cash seized from West Yorkshire criminals by our police - rather than just the bit the Government lets us keep.

"I will be seeking assurances from the Home Secretary that West Yorkshire will not feel the full force of cuts.

"This is hitting communities across West Yorkshire and creating an even wider gap between those areas with the greatest need and those that do not face the same or significant challenges that we do."

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