MP calls for more funding to protect police officers

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Halifax MP Holly Lynch has called on the Conservative Government to offer more support to West Yorkshire Police Officers as the latest policing budget was announced by Ministers.

Government support for the Police, in cash grants given to forces, will fall nearly £100m next year.

Most forces will maintain officer numbers by raising funds through the policing precept on Council Tax.

West Yorkshire will see a slight increase, 3.43%, in the police element of Council Tax which equates to around an extra £5 a year for Band D properties.

The debate comes as 44-year-old Karl Gee from Halifax who ‘wanted to kill a copper’ was jailed for six years and recently released figures show that nationally officers have been subjected to 2.4 million attacks in just a year.

Ms Lynch, who has launched a campaign to protect police officers and other emergency workers from assaults, told the Courier: “Recent local events and shocking national statistics all highlight the dangers that those striving to keep us safe face every single day.

“Police budgets need to increase so that officers are safe and the forces can tackle all kinds of crime in a quick and efficient way that provides justice for victims of crime.”

Since 2010, West Yorkshire police have faced cuts of £160 million and lost 1,200 frontline officers and about 800 members of staff.

During a debate on the Police budget Ms Lynch told MPs: “It is undeniable that cuts have had an impact on Police’s ability to do some of the basics, let alone respond to the increased complexity of crime and the social challenges that are now the responsibility of the police.

“I do not believe that the police grant recognises the pressures from complex, evolving crimes, such as cybercrime, human trafficking, the demands of preventing child sexual exploitation and missing persons’ inquiries.

“We also face challenges relating to firearms and serious organised crime in West Yorkshire.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson said: “I will be working closely with the Chief Constable, MPs and others to ensure the review of the police funding formula is fair and transparent in recognising where the policing demands need to be met in West Yorkshire.

“However I pledged to protect frontline policing and I will continue to do so with the help of our partners and our communities. It’s crucial that West Yorkshire Police continue to have the resources to be able to provide the service our communities rightly expect and deserve to keep them safe and feeling safe.”