By ANISAH ARIF
A Bradford MP has revealed statistics which show the cuts in Police forces in West Yorkshire and the rise in sexual and violent crimes.
Bradford South MP Judith Cummins challenged the Prime Minister over policing cuts which have resulted in a surge in crime on her patch.
During the Prime Ministers questions, Judith asked whether cash-strapped police forces should be fighting for funding when serious crime is on the rise.
Judith told Theresa May: “West Yorkshire Police has 900 fewer officers than it did eight years ago. The result: a 45% rise in violent and sexual crimes in my constituency this year.
“And now the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners have warned that the Government’s pension shortfall will cost £165 million pounds and leave 4000 fewer officers on our streets. In West Yorkshire alone this means another 400 officers lost.
“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that this is national scandal and that the police should be fighting crime – and not fighting for funding?”.
The Prime Minister, Teresa May, responded: “Can I say to the honourable lady that, of course, we have seen an increase in, particularly she referenced, the issue around sexual abuse crimes and crimes of that sort. We have seen an increase in the number of crimes being reported but that is partly because we have now got an atmosphere where people are more ready and willing to come forward and report these crimes.
“She refers to the issue of the pensions. This is an issue that has been known for some years.”
Speaking afterwards, Judith said: “The Tories used to claim they were the party of law and order, but their woeful record over the past eight years shows they are anything but.
“The PM glossed over the fact that violent crime is on the rise nationwide and our Police and Crime Commissioner himself has said the detail of these pension changes are unexpected and will affect the ability to recruit more officers.
“West Yorkshire’s Chief Constable has spoken about the impact cuts have had on her ‘exhausted’ officers and their ability to do their jobs. Mark Burns-Williamson has previously said lack of resources has meant in a rise in response times, an increase in crime and a decrease in confidence levels.
“It’s time the government got a grip on this problem. My constituents and people across Yorkshire are suffering as a direct result of their policies.
The Government cutting 21,000 police offers nationally earlier this year has resulted in the higher rise in crime in and out of West Yorkshire. Since 2010, officer numbers are down by 19 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber. The Tories have decided to cut Home Office’s support to local forces by £100m in real terms over the next year.
Meanwhile, Mr. Burns-Williamson has written an open letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, raising concerns about the impact of the recent announcement around unfunded employer pension contributions across policing.
It’s anticipated the increase in employer contribution would equate to a net cost of £6.6m in 2019-20 in West Yorkshire and to around £18m beyond 2020.
Mr. Burns-Williamson said it would put a “detrimental hole in policing funding” and would impact on the force’s ability to recruit. He said: “The bottom line is that the additional monies raised by PCCs through the £12 extra on the Police Council Tax will be all but wiped out to pay for this.”
Overall crime rate is up by 18 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber, which is more than national average. Violent crimes have risen by a staggering amount – by a third across the region.