Protect the policing frontline
Dec 29 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THE shooting in Kirkheaton has brought the huge cuts faced by West Yorkshire Police into sharp focus.
West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison has vowed that frontline policing and special units set up for public protection will be saved at all costs. One of those units, specialist firearms officers, was called in to deal with the siege that ended with the tragic death of Alistair Bell.
Some units most people rarely see, but they are vital when major incidents happen and to cut them could be potentially dangerous. That’s why child protection and public protection such as counter terrorism, firearms and the force’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team must stay.
People will have to get used to seeing fewer traffic officers on the road and only time will tell if that has a detrimental impact on road safety with more lives lost.
Sir Norman believes neighbourhood policing should be at the forefront of his officers’ work and he is wielding the axe elsewhere to make sure local officers remain. Most will agree with that along with his pledge that poorer performing officers will be rooted out.
The force has to make £90m in savings over four years, but £70m of these must be done over the next two years.
It’s OK the government coming up with figures, but surely it would have been more sensible to have spread the cuts evenly over four years, allowing more time to plan their impact on fighting crime