'Lack of information' from West Yorkshire Police on serious incidents 'disturbing'

Elected members need to be kept abreast of serious police incidents, Coun Heptinstall said.
Elected members need to be kept abreast of serious police incidents, Coun Heptinstall said.

Local councillors are receiving a "disturbing" lack of information from the police about serious incidents, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has been told.

Stuart Heptinstall, an elected member on Wakefield Council, said that residents were telling him more about crime in his ward than officers were.

Coun Heptinstall (Labour), said he was learning more about crime from his constituents than from the police.

Coun Heptinstall (Labour), said he was learning more about crime from his constituents than from the police.

The issue was raised at a Police and Crime Panel on Friday morning, where the region's PCC, Mark Burns-Williamson is held to account.

Coun Heptinstall, who represents Wakefield East said: "In my area, we’re not getting told what’s happening, where it’s happening or when it’s happening by the police.

"It’s only the briefest amount of information we get from them.

"There’s a lot of cases being held back from us. It’s disturbing.

Mr Burns-Williamson said he'd take the concerns on board.

Mr Burns-Williamson said he'd take the concerns on board.

"Residents are coming to us and asking details about a fire down one street, and 84 needles being found down another, and we can't tell them anything.

"We’re being told more by our residents than we’re being told by the police.

"I understand that sometimes you can't go into details but elected members need to be trusted.

"The level of the reporting from the old inspector in our area was great, but since he’s left it’s gone right down."

The panel was told that local inspectors and neighbourhood policing teams were responsible for briefing councillors, but the PCC said he would take the concerns on board.

One panel member from Bradford however, said he'd found communication between councillors and the police was strong.

Coun Richard Dunbar said: "Our inspector's brilliant. He sends local councillors an email and we get to know about everything before it appears in the press.

"There's no problems there."

Mr Burns-Williamson responded: "That's the kind of system we want to see.

"I understand it is important to communicate the right information to councillors.

"If it's not happening then that's something we need to look at.

"I hear what's been said and I will reflect on that."

Local Democracy Reporting Service