By Greg Dawson
West Yorkshire’s Crime chief Commissioner responded to the BBC documentary Hometown that described Huddersfield as a “warzone”.
The documentary was produced by Mobeen Azhar, from Birkby, the six-part series showing on BBC, attracting attention from across the country.
When speaking on BBC 5 Live, Mr Azhar claimed his investigations found that 27% of court convictions for dealing class A drugs were of Pakistani heritage, when they only make up 6% of the community.
In the documentary, he stated: “One in every 100 people in Yorkshire has used heroin or other opiates, that’s the highest level in the country.
“There have been more drug deaths in Yorkshire than there have been in London in 2017.”
But Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has disagreed with his statements, saying Kirklees has the lowest crime rate in West Yorkshire.
Disputing the figures, he claimed that more than 1% of the community is of Pakistani heritage.
Speaking on BBC 5 Live Mr Burns Williamson said “I wasn’t contacted by the journalist, which would have helped in terms of the wider context.
“We would’ve been able to explain some of the work and actions that are being taken against people that are carrying weapons, whether it’s guns or knives.
“While I wouldn’t deny some of the issues (he has) raised about certain parts of Huddersfield – Kirklees as a district has the lowest crime rate per 1,000 population within West Yorkshire.
“There’s no doubt we have seen increases in knife incidents, and yes, guns. It’s gone up roughly 25%.”
Mr Burns-Williamson admitted that there has been an increase in knife crime although this follows a national trend in rising knife crime.
When asked if police are making progress with fighting knife crime he replied “In an age of austerity, policing, along with many other services, has become a purely reactive service.
“Crime prevention and early intervention, sadly, have not been as high up the agenda as they should’ve been because of budget pressures.”
West Yorkshire Crime Commissioner gives his thoughts on Hometown
By Greg Dawson