THE top cop in Calderdale is appealing for residents’ help to beat crime during the budget cuts.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern, divisional commander for the district, says there has been a seven per cent drop in offences over the last six months – equating to 583 fewer victims of crime.
While he is celebrating that news, he says cuts to the force’s budget will make the coming years tough.
“Things are going to get more challenging for us,” he said.
“We’re looking at making savings by reducing the number of managers and supervisors, reducing the number of back-office functions but maintaining, as far as is possible, the same number of PCs out on the beat, delivering the service.
“Whatever cuts may happen, we need the help of the public and partner agencies. There is a real feeling in Calderdale that people want to make things better here.”
There were 7,874 crimes reported between April and September, compared to 8,457 for the same period last year.
Operations to target break-ins have helped lead to a four per cent drop in the number of burglaries and a 19 per cent drop in the number of thefts from vehicles.
“It’s a significant downward trend and we want to continue that downward trend,” said Chief Supt Hardern.
There are several operations planned to continue tackling crime and Chief Supt Hardern said members of the public could help by looking out for each other and passing information to the police.
“If you see something that looks a bit suspicious, call us. We want neighbours to look out for each other.”
He also urged people to attend Partners and Community Together meetings, where they can meet their neighbourhood policing team officers and help decide what crimes need tackling in their area.
West Yorkshire Police is expected to have its budget slashed by 20 per cent over the next four years.
Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison has said he expects the force to have 1,500 to 2,000 fewer employees by 2015.