A TAX on legalised and regulated cannabis would see more police officers on Calderdale’s streets, says Liberal Democrat candidate for the Halifax seat James Baker.

Coun Baker – who leads the Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council – says a serious assault in the past, which left him hospitalised, made him aware of the impact of crime on people’s lives.

Arguing his party’s plan, which would see 20,000 more police officers across England and Wales, is more credible than those of rival parties contesting the seat, more officers would be funded by legalising the Class B drug, regulating it and taxing it, he said.

This Cannabis Tax would, said Coun Baker, result in “at least” 34 extra Police officers across Calderdale.

The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate two per cent pay-rise for serving police officers, said Coun Baker.

“I was a victim of a violent assault that left me hospitalised.

“I know the impact crime has on people’s lives, not just the physical damage but the psychological impact on our wellbeing.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to increase the number of police across Halifax.

“The Liberal Democrats are committing £1 billion nationwide investment per year to fund this – that’s £250 million more than Labour or the Tories.

“We would pay for this by legalising and regulating cannabis.

“This would raise £1.5 billion in taxation, and free up Police time to focus on other serious crimes,” he said.

Coun Baker argued Liberal Democrat plans “stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them.”

In particular he is critical of the effect Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union – Brexit – might have on crime-fighting effectiveness, citing regional police forces’ use of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which in West Yorkshire has seen 314 criminals speedily extradited and brought to book, he said.

Coun Baker says the Liberal Democrats, who have a “revoke” policy on the issue, believe Brexit risks losing access to the scheme.