Road policing hit with £5 million cuts - 100 staff to be re-assigned

ACC West Yorkshire Police Mark Milsom,
ACC West Yorkshire Police Mark Milsom,

Road policing in West Yorkshire is set for a major shake-up with 100 members of staff from the operational support division set to be re-assigned due to budget cuts.

With the road policing and operational support budget for the region set to be slashed from £20 million to £15 million, two new teams will be formed to cover the west and east of the region from July.

Calderdale, Bradford and Wakefield - the west - will be covered by a team of 120 officers (five sergeants and 115 constables) and will be moved from their current base in Carr Gate, Wakefield, to Trafalgar House in Bradford.

This new Safer Road and Neighbourhood Support Team will see the end of “specialisms”. Officers who had previously worked in either the road policing unit, road crimes team, operational support unit or dog section will be re-trained to be able to cover all areas.

There will also be a closer working relationship between the traffic police and neighbourhood policing teams.

West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Mark Milsom said: “We’re looking to deliver the police services we presently provide with a £20 million budget, with a £15 million budget.

“I actually think we’ll deliver the same but, more likely, a better service because of the changes we’re making.”

ACC Milsom said the force had lost between 25 and 30 per cent of its budget over the last three years - 8o per cent of which goes on staff, and they were having to prioritise areas in which to spend.

“In line with the priorities laid out by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore we’re focusing our priorities around neighbourhood policing and that direct contact between communities, PCs and PCSOs.”

ACC Milsom said officers who were leaving the road policing team would be “returning to district at the moment”.