West Yorkshire Police spending more time leafleting than tackling crime, Wakefield councillor claims

Police officers have been criticised for spending too much time leafleting while communities are being "smashed to smithereens".

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 8:24 pm

Wakefield councillor Graham Isherwood said officers weren't doing enough to tackle crime.

He was one of several councillors to suggest cases of anti-social behaviour and speeding are rising unchecked, during a debate at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

West Yorkshire Police has been contacted for a response.

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The remarks were made at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

Senior councillors in Wakefield have repeatedly flagged concerns about the lack of bobbies on the beat in recent months, and the impact it's had on public safety.

But in a particularly stinging attack on the Force, Coun Isherwood, who represents Featherstone, said: "We're certainly having a lot more anti-social behaviour.

"In the Wakefield district we're clearly not getting the support from the police that we should do.

"It came to my attention two or three months ago that police in the Wakefield district were putting leaflets through doors.

Councillor Isherwood said communities were "not getting enough support" from police.

"Meanwhile we've got towns and villages being smashed to smithereens.

"We've got people smashing walls up and where are the police? Putting leaflets through doors.

"That can't be possibly be right."

Coun Isherwood's Labour colleague, Les Shaw, said the Airedale ward he represents is set to lose its PCSOs.

West Yorkshire's new elected mayor has promised to recruit more police officers.

He claimed this move had "upset" rank-and-file police officers based in the community, with whom he said local councillors had a good relationship.

He told the meeting: "The people up there (at the top of the Force) aren't listening to what's going on.

"The police really need to start doing policing and until that happens this is going to get worse."

West Yorkshire's elected mayor, Tracy Brabin, has pledged to recruit 750 new police officers and staff to help fight crime.

She will appear at Wakefield's next full council meeting in the new year, where local members are expected to grill her about community safety and police numbers.

Conservative Simon Fishwick, meanwhile, called for the council to start a road safety campaign, following a fatal crash in Horbury recently.

Councillor Fishwick, who represents the town, said: "I was a witness at the scene and it was quite horrific.

"It's come to my attention from many, many residents - and I suspect it may be the same in other areas as well - that speeding and malicious joyriding is becoming more frequent behaviour.

"It's something I'd like us to push forward on and say that we're not going to just accept this."

Local Democracy Reporting Service