Burns-Williamson calls for PM to listen to West Yorkshire Police

Labour's West Yorkshire police commissioner candidate, Mark Burns-Williamson, has called on David Cameron to "sit up and listen" to stark warnings from West Yorkshire's chief constable Sir Norman Bettison about the impact of police cuts.

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post newspaper, Sir Norman spoke of his serious concerns that any further cuts to police budgets could make it impossible to deal with future largescale disorder or riots as seen last summer.

Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"David Cameron and his out of touch Government have to sit up and take notice of these comments from one of the country's leading chief constables. Labour has warned of the dangers of cutting police budgets so deeply and axing thousands of police officers and staff again and again, but our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.

"Sir Norman is right - enough is enough. Stop your irresponsible and dangerous cuts now before it's too late.

"Labour would not be cutting police force budgets so recklessly, we would be keeping police on the beat, cutting crime, not the police."

And David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, responding to concerns expressed by the West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, said:

“Yet another Police Chief Constable has been forced to go public over his concerns for the future of policing as a result of the Tory-led Government's too far too fast cuts to the police and large scale contracting out.

“David Cameron needs to listen to those on the frontline who are protecting our communities and are the ones we turn to in emergencies.

“The loss of at least 15,000 police officers - with over 5,500 already gone from 999 emergency response, neighbourhood police and traffic - is going to impact on how police are able to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and deal with emergencies effectively.

"As Norman Bettison points out today there are risks it will also compromise the ability of the police to respond to the type of riots we saw last year. Police numbers matter. The Government needs to rethink the funding for the police and listen to the professionals and the communities who know what a devastating impact their policies are having." 

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