Final message from the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
7th May 2021
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said:
“It has been an immense honour to serve as the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire. I was first elected in 2012 and then re-elected in 2016 with the support of the public and I am proud of what has been achieved. As part of the devolution deal the PCC role will now become part of the Office of the new Mayor for West Yorkshire and I want to thank you for all your support over this time.
“It has been a really varied, interesting and at times challenging role covering much wider areas of community safety, support for victims and working with criminal justice, local government and many other valued community partners, as well as providing strategic policing governance and making tough decisions through austerity and other difficult times.
“I have lived and worked in West Yorkshire all my life and throughout my time as PCC I have always put the needs of West Yorkshire first. With the support of my office, West Yorkshire Police and key partners I have ensured the development and delivery of a new Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) which opened last year, a facility of its type that I believe is now second to none in the country. Taking a regional and national lead on tackling violent crime with the establishment of our first Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), launching the West Yorkshire and then the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network, and being the first PCC to set up the Safer Communities Fund (SCF) solely from Proceeds of Crime monies which has now benefitted 827 projects and groups around West Yorkshire since 2014, many of which I have had the pleasure of visiting and seeing first-hand what great work they are doing at the grass roots level to prevent crime and raise awareness of many key issues ranging from hate crime, domestic abuse, road safety, sexual abuse to anti-social behaviour…the list goes on. Examples of which can be found in my final newsletter.
“At a national level I have worked hard to ensure the voice of West Yorkshire was always loud and clear and have fought for our local concerns and taken those various roles to further the need for more resources within the Home Office, working with many of our great local MPs and leading the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) including as national Chair through 2018/19.
“On a personal note I have always endeavoured to be visible, accessible and to make a positive difference. What stands out the most though is working with great and committed people, not just within West Yorkshire Police or my own office, but from all our diverse communities across West Yorkshire to our key partners, many of those who volunteer or as part of other emergency services and organisations where great partnerships have been established in the pursuit of our shared vision of ‘Keeping West Yorkshire Safe and Feeling Safe’.
“I absolutely want to express my sincere thanks for everything that everyone is doing to help keep our communities safe and feeling safe during such difficult times. I know there are challenges ahead and there is always more to do, but the way our police, NHS and other front-line services have adapted over the last 12 months to the COVID impact, as well as to other challenges that we have all faced has been phenomenal. I have felt really assured by West Yorkshire Police’s overall approach with wider partners and I can, and will indeed, look back with a sense of real pride in what we have been able to accomplish together in times of such ongoing adversity.”
Following the election yesterday, the new West Yorkshire Mayor is due to be announced on Sunday evening (9th May), with their first day being Monday 10th May 2021. The Mayor will inherit the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) functions and responsibilities as part of their remit in a new Mayoral Combined Authority. To find out more visit https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/about/devolution.