YEP Says, November 14: Police are robbing Peter to pay Paul in city officer switch

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...and Leeds sprinkles the Christmas magic

THE decision to divert Leeds police officers to tackle rising crime in Bradford is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Let’s be clear – at the moment we’re only talking about 16 officers, that’s equivalent to just 1.5 per cent of those currently policing Leeds.

Nevertheless it sets a dangerous precedent. While residents of this city will be worried, its criminals could well be rubbing their hands in glee.

Because although Leeds has made huge strides in recent years when it comes to cutting crime rates, the fear must be that this move could reverse that downward trajectory.

Of course, crime knows no borders – especially when it’s a city just a few miles away. It could be that criminals from Leeds are at work in Bradford because they think it’s an easier target.

The squeeze on police budgets is also a factor. Last year the YEP revealed that West Yorkshire Police have to save a further £66m by 2017. A lot of those savings are being made by not replacing police officers when they leave the force – hence chiefs having to shuffle their pack and put manpower where it is most needed.

But as pragmatic as this move is, if many more officers are switched to Bradford there will soon come a tipping point where public safety here will be compromised.

Chiefs must ensure it never gets to that point.

Leeds sprinkles the Christmas magic

THE countdown to Christmas in Leeds is officially on. Last night saw X Factor winner Sam Bailey switch on the city’s festive lights as thousands packed into Victoria Gardens.

A lot of work is going in to making the city a top Christmas destination this year with a coordinated effort as part of the Magical Leeds push that aims to show just what it has to offer.

From seasonal shows at the theatres to Christmas shopping at Trinity and the annual visit from the German market, it looks like this could be the best Leeds Christmas ever. Why would you shop for your presents online when there’s all that to enjoy?

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