Police officer recruitment drive is a tacit admittance by the Government that they got it wrong

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said although he welcomed the proposed increase in officer numbers, it will only bring Yorkshire's largest police force back to officer levels it had in 2010.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said although he welcomed the proposed increase in officer numbers, it will only bring Yorkshire's largest police force back to officer levels it had in 2010.
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A national campaign to recruit 20,000 extra police officers is a tactic admittance by the Government that they have got it wrong, a West Yorkshire Police boss has claimed.

The Chancellor promised £750 million to fund the first year of the project, during which it is hoped 6,000 new officers will be put in place.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said although he welcomed the proposed increase in officer numbers, it will only bring Yorkshire's largest police force back to officer levels it had in 2010.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said although he welcomed the proposed increase in officer numbers, it will only bring Yorkshire's largest police force back to officer levels it had in 2010.

Sajid Javid said in his spending round on Wednesday an extra £45 million would be spent this year to recruit the first 2,000 police officers by the end of March.

A Home Office campaign, urging would-be recruits to "be a force for all", was launched on Thursday - featuring serving police officers, whose images will appear on billboards and digital displays in shopping centres and railway stations across England and Wales.

The recruitment drive was one of Boris Johnson's key Tory leadership campaign promises, and the Prime Minister has since said the goal will be achieved within three years.

But while the pledge has been widely welcomed, there has been criticism over cuts which saw officer numbers slashed by around 20,000 after 2010 and there have been warnings about the time it takes to train new recruits.

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West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said although he welcomed the proposed increase in officer numbers, it will only bring Yorkshire's largest police force back to officer levels it had in 2010.

He said: “I warned then cuts would lead to rising crime, but the Government simply didn’t listen and now this reversal appears to be a tacit admittance that they got it wrong despite the attempts of Boris Johnson on his visit to West Yorkshire today to wash over his own Governments legacy on support and funding for policing.

“We are not yet clear on how much of the £750m announced yesterday will come to West Yorkshire and its disappointing that it is only a one year settlement when we need certainty for the next few years if we are to tackle and reduce violent crime.

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“Since 2010, the population of the county has risen, and there are more demands on policing around historic child sexual exploitation (CSE), county lines, human trafficking and serious and violent crime, so while any extra money is welcome, the pressure will still be on policing and resources need to be sustained over the coming years."

Mr Burns-Williamson said the Government had finally acknowledged there is a link between police numbers and crime levels.

He said that if the force is to get back to similar police numbers from a decade ago it is crucial a public health approach is developed to ensure the causes of crime are treated.