£3.6m vow saves 120 West Yorkshire police jobs

Mark Burns-Williamson

Mark Burns-Williamson

First published in News

The jobs of more than 100 police community support officers across the district have been saved by a £3.6 million boost.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has pledged to pay an extra £2.9 million, supported by £770,000 from Bradford Council, for the next two years to preserve 120 PCSOs – more than half the total number in the district – whose position had been threatened by budget cuts.

The money is on top of £17.8 million Mr Burns-Williamson pledged in January to keep the current level of PCSOs throughout West Yorkshire until 2016.

The cash injection will protect the level of police community support officers – currently at 211 – in the district for the next two years.

An agreement has been reached between Mr Burns-Williamson and Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green to increase his funding by 30 per cent a year, taking the Police and Crime Commissioner’s total contribution to £2,898,984. Bradford Council has pledged £770,616 a year to the fund.

Mr Burns-Williamson said it was a positive move. “Protecting our communities is a priority and this is a massive step in the right direction of sustainable policing, as we all remain committed to preventing and tackling crime and making communities safer and feeling safer,” he added. “I welcome the support of Bradford Council in protecting front-line policing.

“I understand the challenges the council faces. The police service alone is being cut by £152 million to 2016/17. This means we have to find smarter, more innovative ways of working together in our communities.”

Bradford Council deputy leader Councillor Imran Hussain said: “Community safety is a top priority, so we are pleased to come to an agreement with the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire that will ensure we have a strong presence of police community support officers in the district.

“People want to feel safe, both in their homes and when they are out and about on the streets, so pledging funding for PCSOs means we can continue to receive the excellent protection they have delivered.”

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