WHARFEDALE MPs have been giving their reaction to news that more than 200 ‘extra’ police officers have been recruited in West Yorkshire.

The Home Office says forces around the country have recruited an additional 4,336 officers as part of the Government’s campaign to put 20,000 more officers on the streets.

Locally, that has seen West Yorkshire Police recruit an extra 222 officers since the recruitment drive was launched in September, 2019.

MP Robbie Moore (Con, Keighley and Ilkley) has hailed the news, claiming it shows that the Government’s promises of extra support for policing are ‘coming through’.

Otley’s MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West), however, insists the recruitment has to be put into context against a backdrop of ‘years of cuts’ by the Government.

Mr Moore said: “Getting more police officers onto our streets is a key part of my plan for Keighley and Ilkley, and so I am delighted that West Yorkshire Police have been bolstered with an extra 222 officers so far.

“I’ll do all I can to ensure our constituency sees the benefits of these extra officers.

“I have raised issues around crime with the Home Secretary and Prime Minister and am delighted to see the promises for additional support are coming through as real benefits.

“By backing our police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.”

Mr Sobel said: “I am pleased to see the recruitment of new officers and wish them all well as they embark on their new career, serving our communities at this critical time.

“It is important to remember that the recruitment drive in the public sector is only necessary due to the decimation that has taken place under the Conservatives since 2010.

“There are worrying trends in the collapsing of PCSO numbers which is the real issue for our communities in Pool, Bramhope, Otley and Yeadon. There must be resources made available to effectively tackle issues such as speeding that have made many of our residents fear for their safety and has sadly cost others their lives.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson also says the figures need to be understood in the context of ‘a long-term period of austerity’. He said: “We have been in an extremely challenging position since 2010 with government cuts leading to the loss of over 2000 police jobs, which is on public record.”