The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, is seeking the views of the public as he launches his annual consultation on the budget for West Midlands Police.
The PCC is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police, which receives the majority of its funding from central government grant, but also through a precept on council tax. Part of the PCC’s role is to set the precept for council tax which is allocated to the police.
The PCC is asking for the views of the public, on their main priorities, when it comes to policing the region.
He is also consulting the public on an increase to council tax, that the government has effectively mandated, by up to £10 per year, for a band D property – which would amount to less than 85p per month.
Most properties in the West Midlands are in band A and B and the cost would be less than that.
The West Midlands Police Precept is the second lowest in the country at £177.55, for a band D property, and remains at least £60 less than neighbouring forces. By comparison Warwickshire Police currently has a council tax precept of £252.96 per year, Staffordshire Police has a precept of £238.57 and West Mercia Police’s precept is £240.20.
An increase of £10 for the year 2022/23 would mean that West Midlands Police will continue to recruit officers, although the budget will remain under pressure.
Simon Foster is committed to rebuilding community policing, by putting 450 extra neighbourhood police officers onto the streets of the West Midlands. A small rise in the police precept will support these plans.