ONE IN FIVE West Yorkshire residents have indicated they don’t “feel safe” in their local area, according to a police survey.

The number of people across the county declaring they did feel safe fell slightly to exactly 80 per cent, down from the 81 per cent recorded in June.

Of the five local authorities across West Yorkshire, figures show that people in Calderdale and Leeds feel the most secure from crime. Residents from these areas were also more likely to say they thought the police were doing a good or an excellent job, and that they were confident the police would prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

By comparison however, Bradford scored significantly lower on all three questions.

While 83.4 per cent of people in Leeds said they felt safe in their area, only 73 per cent of those surveyed in Bradford said the same.

Meanwhile, only 35 per cent in Bradford said police were doing a good or excellent job, while only 31 per cent of those surveyed in Bradford think the police and partners will prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

At a meeting of West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Panel yesterday, Bradford councillor Tariq Hussain (Lab, Great Horton) said that the figures showed a “big gap” between Bradford and rest of West Yorkshire and asked Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson what could be done to bridge it.

The PCC suggested that the disparity was partly down to funding discrepancies. He said: “This is not a new thing as you know. I did meet with a number of Bradford councillors about this recently. Some of the burden has fallen on neighbourhood police teams (NPTs), and their capacity has been affected by some of the demands in Bradford. There is reinvestment in those NPTs, but there’s still a journey to go on. The reason why Leeds tends to fare better is because that authority tends to match fund investment into PCSOs. It’s all about what local authorities feel they can afford.

“We are still feeling the effects of austerity on services.”

Mr Burns-Williamson said the next government Budget would be “crucial” in rebuilding frontline neighbourhood policing, which he hoped would help improve confidence in the force.

Here is how the survey breaks down in numbers;

I feel safe in my local area? 

West Yorkshire-wide – 80% (agreed), Leeds – 83.4%, Calderdale – 83%, Wakefield – 81%, Kirklees – 79.6%, Bradford – 73%

The police are doing a good/excellent job

West Yorkshire – 41.3% (agreed), Leeds – 46.7%, Calderdale – 41.7%, Wakefield – 40.5%, Kirklees – 39.8%, Bradford – 35.1%

Police and partners will prevent crime and anti-social behaviour 

West Yorkshire – 37.4% (agreed), Leeds – 42.5%, Calderdale – 37.4%, Wakefield – 37.2%, Kirklees – 36.6%, Bradford – 31%