SCRAPPING prison sentences of less than six months is a "good idea" - West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has told Councillors.

Mark Burns Williamson attended a meeting of Bradford Council's Corporate Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, and the discussion turned to government plans to scrap short prison sentences.

The Government recently announced it was planning to drop prison sentences of less than six months in favour of community orders.

It is hoped the changes would lead to re-offending rates dropping as well as reducing the prison population.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "When someone comes out after serving a sentence and has nowhere to live and no job choices, you'll often find they start re-offending fairly quickly."

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Councillor Simon Cooke (Cons, Bingley Rural) said: "Too many people are being sent to prison, especially young men. We're creating a rod for our own backs, as this can have a negative impact on families."

On the plans to change sentences, he said: "There will be a significant change from the current system, a lot more offenders will be dealt with in a community environment.

"Will the service be able to manage that shift?"

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "I think generally it is a good idea doing away with sentences of less than six months. I regularly meet with governors at Armley and they say they just don't work.

"While I agree with the policy, I do worry about the funding or lack of funding that will be available for community rehabilitation."

He said the judiciary would also have to play its part in any sentencing changes.