West Yorkshire Police face
cuts check

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Inspectors from a police watchdog will be visiting West Yorkshire Police after a report criticised them for failing to respond to the need to make dramatic budget cuts.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary singled out West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Police among five forces in the country in July and warned further cuts to their funding after 2015 could endanger services.

HMIC said both Yorkshire forces will struggle to cope with further budget cuts in coming years because they have relied too much on making short-term savings.

Bosses were told the watchdog would carry out a further inspection later this year and have since been working on plans to restructure their departments.

Inspectors will return to the forces this week to “review the ongoing achievement of the planned savings”. If they are not satisfied they can increase the level of monitoring and could ultimately refer them to the Home Secretary.

The HMIC report said at the time of inspection earlier this year, South Yorkshire Police “still had no plans” to find the £9.6m needed to close the remaining funding gap while West Yorkshire had “responded poorly” to “significant challenges” in making the £96m in savings needed over four years.

Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Mark Gilmore said: “We understand very clearly the points they made. We have some solid plans and are making swift but sure-footed changes, some of which are already public, to ensure we make the savings.”