Friday, 8 November 2013

Reportage: Police funding 'unfair' says PCC

The Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has called for changes to the way police forces are funded to protect West Yorkshire Police from further government cuts.

Because of the different ways police forces are funded across England, Mr Burns-Williamson believes that there is a 'north-south divide' and is calling for reform.

He said: “A place like West Yorkshire suffers disproportionately because of the scale of the cuts.

“We rely on the government for 80 per cent of our funding, so the more our budget is cut, the more our funding gets hit.

“In a place like Surrey, for example, they only rely on 50 per cent from government grants and raise 50 per cent locally, so clearly there's a disparity.

“I've been raising the issue of unfairness with the Home Secretary, and will continue to do so,” he added.

He believes that reforms to the Proceeds of Crime Act would help to fill the funding gap.

At present, the Act gives courts the authority to confiscate profits made by criminals, with half of the money going straight to the Treasury.

He said: “As a matter of principal I'm saying why aren't we getting this money?

“I'm setting up a petition on the Number 10 website, and I'm lobbying government to look at that legislation.”

“It would be nice if the government recognised that policing is a priority in our communities,” he added.

This article was published by the Wakefield Express on November 8, 2013.

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