Police cuts fears

Yvette Cooper and coun Mark Burns-Williamson holding coffee session to talk to people about policing and crime.'with Wendy Rayner and Denise Rowlinson

Yvette Cooper and coun Mark Burns-Williamson holding coffee session to talk to people about policing and crime.'with Wendy Rayner and Denise Rowlinson

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CRIME and police cuts were hot topics of conversation at a coffee morning last week.

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper and Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Coun Mark Burns-Williamson chatted to residents about their concerns at the event held at Castleford’s Salvation Army citadel.

Members of the public expressed fears over cuts to police manpower and potential government privatisation plans for neighbourhood police patrols.

Ms Cooper said: “It was a really important meeting to hear local concerns about crime and the future of policing.

“Chief constables are being put in an impossible position and it’s communities that are being hit.

“We want to keep our neighbourhood officers and PCSOs that everyone knows.”

While people talked about the impact on local policing, they also praised neighbourhood policing teams and the officers who know their beat.

Coun Burns-Williamson, currently chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Authority, said: “It was great to hear people’s stories about the good work our police do, and really useful to hear about their priorities for the future.

“As a candidate for the election in November, I’ll be speaking to residents across the region about their policing priorities.

“Like most people I’ve spoken to, I’m totally against any privatisation of our police force and the reduction in police officers and I’m committed to protecting the neighbourhood policing that people value.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner election will take place on November 15.