The full extent of potential cuts to West Yorkshire Police will be revealed on Wednesday as the force braces itself for nearly £7million being taken out of its budget in the next two years.
This is in addition to cuts already announced by the government which mean that savings of around £143m need to be made between 2010/11 and 2016/17 equivalent to over 26% of the budget.
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has already warned the government to think very hard before they compromise even further the safety of communities across the region and exacerbate the growing North-South divide in police funding.
He has also spoken to Policing Minister Damian Green just days ago to seek a guarantee that West Yorkshire Police would not be too hard hit after the force has already had to make savings of £75m within the last three years.
Mr Burns-Williamson fears more cuts locally could compromise service:
Mr Green was a bit more forthcoming about the Autumn statement and I made the point again to him because of the way the funding formula works at the moment if the cuts are passed onto policing we will suffer.
In his words he said that he was trying to protect the policing budget but there was no guarantee obviously and I fear that again the North-South divide will mean us being unfairly targeted.
I have already called for a fairer deal for West Yorkshire as the way police funding is allocated by the Government across the country hits areas like ours, with the greatest need, the hardest.
The settlement figure for West Yorkshire Police from the Home Office will be revealed on Wednesday – 18 December 2013.
The Autumn Statement released earlier this month revealed that the Home Office budget will be cut by an extra £231million by 2016.
Up to 75 per cent of the Home Office budget is on policing and four per cent of that comes to West Yorkshire.
Mr Burns-Williamson added:
I am calling on the Government to ensure everything is done to protect the West Yorkshire Police budget which was highlighted recently by the HMIC report as being disproportionately targeted by Government funding cuts and resource allocation formulas.