Statement from West Yorkshire Chief Constable John Robins on yesterday’s Ministerial visit

Yesterday’s visit by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to our Carr Gate training facilities, was to announce the launch of the national recruitment campaign for an extra 20,000 police officers. 

There were four stages to the visit at four different points on our Carr Gate site.  These were a visit to the Mounted Section, an informal meeting with new student officers, a 5 minute speech by the Prime Minister followed by media questions to launch the recruitment campaign and a then a visit to the NPAS base where the Prime Minister was to deliver a 10 minute speech to the media, without police officers present and take questions (whilst the Home Secretary would speak to NPAS officers and staff inside).

Chief Constable John Robins said “I repeat that I am pleased that we were chosen as the focal point of the national recruitment campaign launch, but the good news of extra officers was overshadowed by the media coverage of other events. 

“It was the understanding of West Yorkshire Police that any involvement of our officers was solely about police officer recruitment. We had no prior knowledge that the speech would be broadened to other issues until it was delivered.

Minutes before the speech, we were told that the NPAS visit and subsequent brief to a small media pool had been cancelled.  I was therefore disappointed to see my police officers as a backdrop to the part of the speech that was not related to recruitment.”

“I am proud of the resilience and professionalism of every single one of our student officers yesterday.  With the recruitment of additional officers alongside them over the next few years, we will hopefully be in a better position to now deliver the service that the public deserve and expect.”

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