PCC response to The Home Affairs Committee Policing for the future Report (25 Oct 2018)

Responding to the The Home Affairs Committee's Policing for the Future Report West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"It is little surprise that the Home Affairs Select Committee raise these serious concerns around police funding and the potentially damaging consequences.

"Only this week, I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer highlighting the significant impact that changes to the unfunded pension employer contributions could have announced by the Treasury, £165m nationally and nearly £7m next year in West Yorkshire alone."

"The subject was also raised during Prime Minister's Questions and really underlines the very real threat posed to public safety, should it not be addressed in the Autumn Budget.

"The reduced funding and huge savings requirements from successive years of Government Spending Reviews have already left us with hundreds fewer officers and staff in West Yorkshire since 2010.

"Although I continue to do all I can with the Chief Constable to protect Neighbourhood Policing and other vital policing services using the means available to me, we have already reached a very stretched situation.

"Frontline Policing is absorbing more demand from areas like mental health services as the report highlights, ultimately becoming a 'catch all' through the 999 and 101 services, in particular.

"The proliferation of cyber-related crimes also brings additional levels of demand, which are simply unsustainable and growing exponentially with the limited resources we have.

"It leaves an ever more pressing need for greater capacity and expertise in handling complex and often major investigations into on-line crime and criminal exploitation.

"I continue to press for a fairer deal in the national funding formula for Forces, which has been continually delayed. The role and direction of the Home Office is central in helping co-ordinate and underpin the overall stability of policing nationally.

"We can no longer continue to shift finite resources around and must now urge the Government to address the fundamental issue, which is the need for a significant injection of police funding, as part of a whole system approach to the next Comprehensive Spending Review putting policing and community safety at the forefront."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019