West Yorkshire Police 'significantly different' to crisis-hit Metropolitan Police - Mayor Tracy Brabin

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West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin has insisted the region’s police force is “significantly different” to the crisis-hit Metropolitan Police.

Mayor Brabin admitted all forces were “tarred with the same brush” as the London-based Met, with public trust in the police having been severely damaged by recent scandals and the murder of Sarah Everard.

The mayor holds West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable to account as part of her role.

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But speaking at a Q&A session with Leeds councillors at the city’s Civic Hall on Wednesday, Mayor Brabin said West Yorkshire Police was “an exemplar” in tackling violence against women and girls.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, pictured speaking at the Convention of the North in Manchester, on January 25, 2023.Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, pictured speaking at the Convention of the North in Manchester, on January 25, 2023.
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, pictured speaking at the Convention of the North in Manchester, on January 25, 2023.

She was responding to a question from local SDP councillor Wayne Dixon, who asked how she intended to “regain public trust in the police” to ensure people felt confident reporting incidents.

Mayor Brabin told the meeting: “It’s something that’s definitely been preying on my mind, with national cases such as Sarah Everard and David Carrick and some appalling cases coming out of the Met in London.”

Referring to the Casey Review, which earlier this year found institutional discrimination across the Met, Mayor Brabin added: “It undermines the trust in police, not just in London. Unfortunately we’re all tarred with the same brush. But West Yorkshire Police is highly rated by (the police inspectorate). It is significantly different to the Met.”

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Mayor Brabin said she’d made it her duty to be informed about all incidents of violence and sexual violence against women in the region.

She also said she was “heartened” by the growing numbers of female and ethnic minority officers joining West Yorkshire Police.

But Councillor Dixon said residents in his Middleton Park ward were growing tired of constant anti-social behaviour. He claimed many felt reporting incidents to the police resulted in no action being taken.

He quoted one local resident as saying: “I’ve no fight left in me. I’ve been reporting for years and nothing happens. What’s the point?”

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Accusing the mayor of “giving us a load of waffle”, he added: “These are common conversations I have with people.”

Mayor Brabin responded by saying neighbourhood policing had been “destroyed” by government cuts.

“I’d encourage citizens to report incidents, because you don’t get the resources (without it),” she said.

“The police want to do it but they can’t do it, because the government have cut their budget.”