UKIP’s Home Affairs Spokeswoman, Jane Collins MEP, has called for an “end to police cuts” and a more “visible and effective police presence”, as new research reveals West Yorkshire now has the highest rate of serious crime per head in England and Wales.
Commenting on the findings from her Yorkshire constituency, Ms Collins blasted the Government for continuing cuts to police budgets saying, “while I am shocked at these findings, it comes as no surprise given that West Yorkshire Constabulary have lost 1,200 officers over the course of the last five years due to cuts.”
Ms Collins continued, “While overall crime may be statistically lower than other places, serious crime in West Yorkshire is on the rise according to the ONS’ newly introduced ‘crime severity scores.’ The average score nationally is 10.1, while West Yorkshire has the dubious record of reaching 13.6!
"While the change in the way statistics are collected and reported explains some of the rise, I believe that we are seeing a more accurate picture of what people living in the county have known for a long time – less police equals a rise in criminal behaviour!
“In a county as big and diverse as Yorkshire, we simple must have a visible and effective police presence to actively tackle the rising incidences of serious crime if we are to tackling these shocking finding.”
“There are also areas in Yorkshire that suffer from great deprivation in the post-industrial and mining age, and it is the job of politicians to put in place long terms plans to tackle social inequalities, raise standards and provide better opportunities.”
“Without a serious rethink of how we distribute resources and tackle social depravation in this county, little will change and the problems are likely to get even worse.
“You only have to look at the burglary figures in the West Yorkshire Constabulary area to see that the police are struggling to cope with the rise in crime. Of 74,350 burglaries reported, only 4,475 incidents led to a charge or summons.
“These figures are outrageous and I call on the government to think again when it comes to further cuts to police budgets. I would also like to see them pledge to make serious inroads towards tackling the many social issues that blight our towns and cities.”