West Yorkshire Police has seen violent crime rise by more than 500 per cent over eight years in some wards, report reveals

Violent crime in parts of West Yorkshire has increased by as much as 505 per cent since the police force has seen cuts to its workforce, research shows.

West Yorkshire Police had 505 fewer officers last year compared with figures from 2011, although the Home Office is currently spearheading a national recruitment drive to replenish 20,000 lost police officers.

Research carried out by the Labour Party, commissioned by the House of Commons Library, showed that the number of violent offences reported to the force increased from 26,992 in 2011, to 114,362 last year – a 323 per cent rise.

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A breakdown of the UKCrimeStats figures by police ward shows which areas have seen the biggest rises in violent offences reported, with Leeds Central, Bradford's South, East and West wards experiencing the highest rise in violent offences between 2011 and 2019.

West Yorkshire Police had 505 fewer police officers last year compared with 2011. Picture: SWNS

Violent crime figures rose from 4,436 to 12,859 (190 per cent) in the centre of Leeds in this period, while Bradford West and Bradford East saw increases of 435 per cent and 499 per cent, respectively.

The highest spike in violence was seen in Bradford South, where the number of crimes rose by 505 per cent from 1,067 in 2011 to 6,452 last year.

The figures are not broken down by types of violent offence and do not take into account factors such as changes in population. The number officers cut from each ward has also not been given to correlate against each area's rise in crime.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the rises in violence in the county, which is Yorkshire's biggest in terms of population, exposed "huge failings" in the Government's approach to dealing with crime.

A crime scene in Bradford, which has seen some of the biggest rises in numbers of violent crime since 2011. Picture: SWNS

The Labour politician said: “These figures make clear the huge failings the Tories have made on crime across the country and the impact that has on local communities.

"This has been coupled with huge budget cuts to services that help prevent crime, such as mental health, youth services and probation. And we must never forget each of these figures represents a terrible incident for someone and their family."

The Yorkshire Post revealed last month that West Yorkshire Police is facing a £30m deficit in its budget for the next financial year, with an internal email informing staff that cuts of up to 15 per cent across all departments were being considered.

Mr Thomas-Symonds added: “The truth is the Tories have failed miserably on crime since 2010 and it is local communities, like those across West Yorkshire, that feel the impact. My role is to help rebuild trust in Labour and ensure people feel that we will keep you, your family and your community safe.”

West Yorkshire Police had 505 fewer police officers last year compared with 2011. Picture: Adobe

The Home Office and West Yorkshire Police were both contacted for comment, but did not respond in time.

However, a Home Office spokesman recently told The Yorkshire Post: “The Government is providing the biggest increase in funding for the police in over a decade and as part of that West Yorkshire Police are receiving up to £485m in funding in 2020/21, an increase of up to £36.5m on 2019/20.

“Police forces in Yorkshire and the Humber will be recruiting more than 500 additional officers in this year alone, as part of the Government’s plan to get 20,000 additional police officers on our streets.”