PONTEFRACT and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has launched a fight against police budget cuts which could cost 500 frontline jobs in West Yorkshire.
The shadow home secretary was at the force’s Laburnum Road building in Wakefield on Friday – joined by her husband Morley MP Ed Balls and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh – to announce a new campaign to stop jobs being axed as police chiefs look to save cash.
Last month chief constable Sir Norman Bettison revealed the force would have to cut 500 officer posts and 1,000 civilian roles to save 20 per cent of its budget.
Ms Cooper said: “The government is pulling the rug from under the police and putting them in an impossible position by imposing 20 per cent cuts – most of which will hit this year and next.
“In West Yorkshire it has already been announced that 500 police officers and nearly 1,000 police support staff will go, this at time when we need to be supporting the police in the difficult job that they do.
“We don’t want to turn the clock back and throw away the progress we have made in communities across West Yorkshire in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. Total recorded crime came down by 39 per cent in our region since 2003 and we cannot and should not make cuts that make it more difficult for police officers to build on this success.
“That is why Labour campaigners from across West Yorkshire gathered in Wakefield to launch a national campaign to register our opposition to these cuts and pressure the government to think again.
“Everyone can get involved by contacting their Labour MP, councillor or by signing our petition on the Labour party website. We need to stop these cuts and make sure that the government listen to the needs and wants of local communities.
“We want safer streets not massive cuts to police jobs.”