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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, has today 10 January 2020 launched his budget consultation for 2020/21 and is asking for the views of the public on the proposals.

The PCC is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police, which receives its funding from central government grant and also through 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 thoughts of the public on an increase in the council tax precept of up to £24 (band D) for 2020/21, an increase of £2 per month.

The West Midlands Police Precept is the second lowest in the country and remains at least £60 less than neighbouring forces of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia. The precept for the West Midlands is currently £152.55 which compared to a similar force such as Greater Manchester which has its precept set at £198.30.

An increase of £24 for the year 2020/21 would mean that West Midlands Police could maintain plans to increase police officer numbers by 200. This is in addition to any allocation from the government’s national uplift programme.

The government has not announced the funding settlement for police forces yet, however, the PCC will be consulting on a potential increase of up to £2 per month (for a band D property.) If the announcement of the police funding settlement does not allow for the necessary increase in the precept, West Midlands Police will have to potentially make cuts to the previously planned budget and officer number plans.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “West Midlands Police has faced cuts to its budget of £175m since 2010 which has led to a reduction of over 2,000 officers.

“Crime has also been rising across the country which is placing an extra burden on our hard working police officers who are having to do more work with less resource.

“Last year I announced that thanks to the wide ranging efficiency savings we have been making in recent years – that the force would be able to increase officer numbers by 200. These officers are in addition to the officers promised by the government and will be directed into frontline policing, right where the public want them.

“To ensure that we can maintain these plans and recruit the increase officer numbers by 200, it is vital that we don’t see the budget shrink any further.

“This is why I am now seeking the views of the public on the budget and policing precept for the next year and this increase would still mean that the people of the West Midlands pay the second lowest precept in the country.”

When Her Majesty’s Inspectorate assessed the force for efficiency in 2019, it reported that the force was “outstanding in the way it is planning for the future” and knows how to “make best of its financial resources”.

The consultation will close at 9am on 3rd February 2020

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