A fall in the number of people being arrested for drink and drug-driving offences is the result of cuts in policing, the West Yorkshire Police Federation has said.
Nick Smart, chairman of the federation’s regional branch, said that there were 1000 fewer officers available to catch offenders.
His comments follow quite a significant shift in crime statistics, which the force’s senior officers had chiefly attributed to changes in recording practices.
“The cuts to West Yorkshire Police mean we are going back to a 1980s reactive style of policing where we simply respond to calls,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“Neighbourhood officers are primarily reduced to answering the increase in calls for service rather than pro-actively engaging with communities and crime prevention. Demand is outstripping resources.
“Look at drink-driving offences or drugs offences. Both are down. Why? Is it because less people are drink driving or taking drugs? No. It is because we do not have the officers or capacity to be as pro-active and have them patrolling as visible deterrent.
“There is an absolute direct correlation between having fewer police officers to patrol and prevent, and the ongoing increase in crime. All cops know this.”
Figures obtained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) showed that during a nine week period earlier this year just nine motorists were arrested in West Yorkshire for driving under the influence of prescribed and illegal drugs.
In neighbouring South Yorkshire, some 55 arrests were made during the same period.
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