Statement from West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner on HMIC PEEL Assessment website (27 Nov 2014)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I am pleased to see that the HMIC PEEL Assessment website has highlighted the excellent work done by West Yorkshire Police regarding the Tour de France and successfully policing five EDL demonstrations.

"It shows that despite major challenges and officer/staff reductions effective policing is still being delivered which is testament to staff and officers.

"The overall crime rate has dropped by 19 per cent in the last four years, which is a significant success, and there is a clear focus on crime reduction and prevention.

"While HMIC has previously recognised the continuing work of West Yorkshire Police to improve crime recording practices, earlier concerns around data integrity have been taken seriously and I have met with the Deputy Chief Constable to understand the longer term action being taken to improve crime recording practices which is well underway.

"HMIC also acknowledge in their Crime Inspection Report that the focus on burglary is understandable and working, while recognising that the force is giving more priority to threats such as CSE, trafficking and cyber-crime as set out in the Police and Crime Plan.

"But we need to ensure victims and witnesses are supported and that call handlers and staff are supported more on how to deal with domestic abuse incidents and ensure all the HMIC recommendations are considered carefully.

"Reporting of domestic violence and abuse is higher in West Yorkshire than many other forces and I believe that is partly down to increased awareness and victims knowing there is help and support available to them.

"Despite HMIC acknowledging improvements in the way West Yorkshire Police is effectively managing domestic abuse investigations in its crime inspection, more does need to be done around training of staff and consistencies across West Yorkshire Police in dealing with reports and complaints.

"HMIC have stated that there have been changes in operational performance with the victim at the centre, and West Yorkshire Police are good at communicating with the public and always aim to have local relationships, but more can be done to achieve a victim-centred approach of which I am playing my part with launch of the Help for Victims website.

"I strongly believe it is about partners working together to achieve outcomes and priorities that we would like for all our communities. It isn't, and cannot be about the police alone.

"Integrated joint working and delivering with Community safety Partners is key to keeping communities safe and feeling safe."


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