Police chiefs preparing for severe cuts

Mark Burns-Williamson.
Mark Burns-Williamson.

West Yorkshire Police chiefs said it’s important the public understood the severity of cuts that lay ahead, following publication of the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary report.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “The simple fact of the matter is that we are among a group of large forces that are more reliant on government funding and therefore suffer the greatest cuts.

“This is an issue the government resolutely fails to address despite the strong calls for a fairer deal I and other police and crime commissioners have made.

“When I was elected I made a commitment to fight the government cuts, not to privatise our services, and to protect neighbourhood policing.

“I will continue to fulfil that promise and as set out in the Police and Crime Plan will together with the new Chief Constable Mark Gilmore ensure West Yorkshire Police continues to find savings by working smarter, in greater partnership, and with a recent agreed collaborative working arrangement with South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside.”

Mr Burns-Williamson said he didn’t plan to privatise the police service as others had done and had confidence in Chief Constable Mark Gilmore.

“I have confidence in Mark Gilmore to deliver the necessary changes that need to be made and have been brought about by severe government cuts and to meet the significant challenges ahead,” said Mr Burns-Williamson.

“The need for strong leadership identified in the report is now in place after a period of instability and I believe this will see West Yorkshire Police continue to cut crime and ensure people in our communities feel safer and are safer.

“I am pleased with the progress that is being achieved in relation to the savings that need to be made.”

Chief Constable Mark Gilmore said: “This report highlights the more difficult challenge West Yorkshire Police faces, compared to many other Forces.

“I fully accept the HMIC assessment that the Force has not so far grasped the same opportunities to transform and deliver savings as other forces and will be working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner, with other partners, to find better ways to deliver the significant savings that need to be made.

“This is why I took the post of West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable – because I believe I can best serve our communities by dealing with the significant challenges currently being faced. I am determined to do so.”