Chief officers 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' to get right resources says Yorkshire police boss

Chief officers are “robbing Peter to pay Paul” in order to get the right resources to deal with the right crimes, the chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation has claimed.

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Brian Booth.
West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Brian Booth.

Brian Booth was responding to new figures showing that the major crime unit in West Yorkshire has seen officers cut by 47 per cent since 2010.

A Freedom of Information request revealed there are just 80 full time officers in the unit now, compared to 151 in 2010.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Booth said: “Police budgets have been slashed since 2009/10 so this is really the true picture of what we're seeing.

There are 80 full time officers in the West Yorkshire Police Major Crime Unit now, compared to 151 in 2010.

“The Freedom of Information request is showing exactly how stretched the service is.

“The major crime unit deals with murders, attempted murders, firearms discharge, and high-end criminality but this isn't the only department that has been slashed.

“It's very difficult for the chief officers to deal with because they are robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Mr Booth said the problem of falling police numbers had been exacerbated by rising crime – and rising new types of crime.

He said: “Crime hasn't dropped, crime has increased and its diversified as well. Since 2010 we've seen an increase in terrorism internationally, and we've had to put officers from frontline policing into firearms. We've had child sexual exploitation, which has come to the forefront and that's a real priority.

“I really don't envy the senior managers within the police their job. They're trying to get the right resources to the right place at the right time.”

Major crime units across England and Wales overall have lost more than a quarter of their officers, with an overall decrease of 28 per cent.

Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh said: “These are chilling figures.

“Murder, rape and serious sexual assault rates are rising and yet the police have been appallingly deprived of the resources to investigate them.”