Police patrols to be cut?

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Police patrols in the Morley area could be reduced following budget cuts.

Leeds City Council has proposed cuts to the number of Police and Community Support Officers in the area as part of a consultation that suggests £150,000 should be cut from the financial support given to West Yorkshire Police.

If implemented it could mean police officer numbers being reduced and PCSOs relocated from Morley into inner city neighbourhoods.Morley Borough Independent councillors have opposed the plans.

Coun Shirley Varley said: “The reason crime levels have fallen across Morley over the last decade is because we have a high police presence on Morley streets.

“This and a committed neighbourhood policing team has made all our communities safer places to live. Cutting police numbers is unacceptable and will inevitably lead to a reverse of this downward trend in crime levels.”

But Leeds city councillor Peter Gruen, said: “Despite losing over 20 per cent of its funding over the last three years, the council has until now maintained its full support to PCSOs. The proposal to reduce the council’s expenditure by £150,000 is currently being consulted on, as no service is immune to cost pressures in the current climate.

“During this period we are actively working with the Commissioner to find ways to protect the numbers of PCSOs in Leeds. The consultation will also consider how PCSOs are distributed in relation to differing levels of crime and how they can work more closely with the council, to the public’s benefit, on issues such as noise nuisance.”