Plans by West Yorkshire Police to improve performance in the face of huge cost cuts have been endorsed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
HMIC carried out a re-inspection of the force after it had raised concerns about the way it was dealing with budget cuts that amount to more than £150 million by 2017.
Now, in a letter to West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore and West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, HMIC’s Roger Baker said the force had quickly moved forward, supported by a new operating model.
And, as a result, he said the force now had a plan which would help it close a money-saving gap, support improved performance and put it in a better place to respond to future funding challenges.
The latest findings have been welcomed by Mr Gilmore and Mr Burns-Williamson.
Mr Gilmore said West Yorkshire Police has to deliver savings of £152m by March 2017 and was now well on track to achieve the target, as well as being committed to maintaining frontline resources.
He said: “I am pleased at the objective, independent and professional assessment from HMIC, that we have made and continue to make significant progress in transforming the organisation, with some bold but necessary changes to ensure we provide a world class policing service which, as a result, will also realise necessary financial savings.
“We are beginning to see the green shoots of improved performance across the county and I would like to thank my own officers and staff, our partners and indeed our communities for all the hard work and support they have given to get us this far.
“While this is positive news for West Yorkshire Police, more importantly it is good news for our communities, because it shows we are delivering on our promise to keep communities safer and feeling safer.”
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “An incredible amount of work has gone into reviewing every part of the police service and by working smarter together we have made those significant savings while protecting frontline policing.
“We are also committed, as the HMIC recognised, to undertake further regional collaboration with forces and PCCs and will continue to work, alongside our partners, to deliver the high quality policing that West Yorkshire residents deserve.”