A clear vision for the future of West Yorkshire Police has been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), following a recent re-inspection.
Writing to West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and Chief Constable Mark Gilmore, HMIC’s Roger Baker said “Since the Valuing the Police 3 inspection, with the support of the PCC, you have moved quickly to refocus the Force under a clear vision for the future supported by a new operating model and underpinned by a comprehensive change programme.
“As a result you have a plan which enables you to close the previously identified savings gap, supports improved performance and enables West Yorkshire to be better placed to respond to future funding challenges.”
The Commissioner and the Chief Constable welcomed the positive findings, which said the organisation had “addressed the principal concerns identified“ in an earlier inspection.
Mr Baker said that he was encouraged by the clear vision for West Yorkshire Police and the identification of steps necessary to move to a world class police service.
Chief Constable Gilmore said: “I am pleased at the objective, independent and professional assessment from HMIC, that we have made and continue to make significant progress in transforming the organisation, with some bold but necessary changes to ensure we provide a world class policing service which, as a result will also realise necessary financial savings.
“We are beginning to see the green shoots of improved performance across the county and I would like to thank my own officers and staff, our partners and indeed our communities for all the hard work and support they have given to get us this far.
“While this is positive news for West Yorkshire Police, more importantly it is good news for our communities, because it shows we are delivering on our promise to keep communities safer and feeling safer.”
West Yorkshire Police has to deliver savings of £152m by March 2017 and is well on track to achieve the target. It is also committed to maintaining front line resources, by restructuring and creating a leaner leadership spine as part of the Programme of Change.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I am committed to protecting frontline policing and have protected the levels of PCSOs in our communities.
“But with severe government cuts to our budget, £152m over five to six years, and our partners’ budgets, there is a great deal of organisational and cultural change needed to make sure people across West Yorkshire are safer and feel safer.
“An incredible amount of work has gone into reviewing every part of the police service and by working smarter together we have made those significant savings while protecting frontline policing.
“We are also committed, as the HMIC recognised, to undertake further regional collaboration with forces and PCCs and will continue to work, alongside our partners, to deliver the high quality policing that West Yorkshire residents deserve while ensuring our communities are safer and feel safer.
“I am delighted that the hard work undertaken by the Chief Constable and officers and staff has contributed to such a positive response from HMIC.”