The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to recruit at least 60 police officers across Bradford as part of an extra £1bn nationwide investment into community policing.
This commitment amounts to 20,000 more police officers across England and Wales, enough for an extra two officers per ward. The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.
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. At the same time, Liberal Democrats are warning that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans risk letting hundreds of criminals to escape justice in West Yorkshire, after analysis revealed the extent to which UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
The region's police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to bring 563 criminal fugitives to justice over the past five years, the analysis reveals. West Yorkshire police force alone extradited 314 criminals to justice in their home country in the last 5 years.
The EAW allows the speedy extradition of wanted criminals, but senior police have warned that the UK risks losing access to the scheme because of Brexit. If current trends were to continue, that would mean more than 563 criminal suspects could avoid extradition in Yorkshire over the next five years.
Liberal Democrat candidate Jeanette Sunderland said:
“Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. With entire communities feeling exposed and vulnerable, both the Tories and Labour are claiming to offer solutions but the sums just don’t add up.
“Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's reckless Brexit threatens to cut the UK off from vital crime-fighting tools that the police use every day to keep us safe. His plans mean that hundreds of criminals in West Yorkshire could remain at large, threatening the safety of our community.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to increase the number of police across Bradford. The Liberal Democrats are committing £1 billion nationwide investment per year to fund this – that’s £250 million more than Labour or the Tories.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party willing to back our bobbies with money, not just words. We are the only party that can stop Brexit, make our communities safe and build a brighter future.”