Police boss backs anti-cuts campaign

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.
Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has backed a campaign opposing cuts to frontline policing.

Mark Burns-Williamson has echoed concerns from the county’s police federation that government spending cuts are having a knock-on effect.

Mr Burns-Williamson will propose to increase the police element of council tax by 1.99 per cent, which he said will pay for the recruitment of 82 new officers in the face of cuts from central government.

He said: Since being elected, working with council leaders, I have protected frontline policing over three years.

“But I have continually raised with the Home Secretary and others, including the budget briefing I recently provided for West Yorkshire MPs, that going forward the level of cuts we are experiencing here mean that protecting the frontline at the current level will become unsustainable.

“Although it will be good news if we can recruit these extra officers if the precept is agreed on Friday, as the federation quite rightly point out with their campaign, we have lost nearly 1,000 officers over the past five years.”