Bradford Council leader says cuts hitting crime prevention budget (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Council leader says cuts hitting crime prevention budget
A £450,000 cut to Bradford’s crime prevention budget has “damaged” the ability of the authorities to protect residents from burglary and other crimes, the leader of Bradford Council has claimed.
Councillor Dave Green spoke out last night after figures showed big cuts to funding for prevention projects, which can include street lighting, youth activities, gang intervention programmes, police officers in schools, CCTV and community projects.
Labour, who unearthed the figures, said West Yorkshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) would struggle to fight crime in the face of cuts to crime prevention budgets in the past two years.
They added that no allocations have yet been set by the Home Office for crime prevention budgets for the next financial year.
In Bradford, the budget was £764,090 in 2010/11 but had fallen by 59.6 per cent to £308,360 in 2012/13. The picture across West Yorkshire paints a similar picture with a budget of £1.27 million, down from £3.17 million.
The commissioner will take responsibility for the cash which, nationally, has seen a 60 per cent fall in funding from £57.8m in 2010/11 to £23.3m for 2012/13, Labour figures show.
Coun Green said: “The cuts over the last couple of years have damaged the ability of the authority and police to work in partnership in delivering crime reduction and safeguarding local citizens.
“Some initiatives and measures have gone, including free alarms that go on sliding patio doors to raise an alarm if they were opened.
“It then becomes a double cut – not only in crime but the fact there is an increase in police demand following break-ins.
“In terms of future funding, the way it is being handled is totally inefficient but not unexpected. We will have to sit down with the new PCC and see how we are going to support them in this vital area of work.”
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “The Government won’t even admit until after the Police and Crime Commissioner elections what next year’s funding will be for crime prevention in future.”
The Home Office confirmed future budgets will not be ringfenced meaning the commissioner can spend the cash as they believe best.
Office of National Statistics figures this month show overall crime was down five per cent in West Yorkshire, with a 22 per cent fall in house burglaries.