West Midlands Police to be given short term funding to fight violent crime
The government has confirmed West Midlands Police will be given
a one-off payment of £6 million this year to boost police
The Home Secretary announced in March that he was going to
parachute in extra money to the forces which have been hardest hit
by the national rise in violent crime.
As the extra money is a one-off payment it will largely be spent
paying current officers to do more overtime, rather than recruiting
The additional funding will be used by our force to ensure extra
officers are available to respond to crimes and be on patrol in
Knife crime has risen in the West Midlands area by 85% since 2012.
A similar pattern has been seen in other cities across the
The Home Office has also promised extra funding for projects which
prevent crimes, but the Commissioner is yet to be told whether the
West Midlands has been successful with its bid.
To put the additional £6 million funding into context West
Midlands Police has a total budget of just under £570 million in
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson,
said: "Since 2010 our force has been hit by funding cuts of £175
million, leading to the loss of some 2,000 officers, despite the
huge efficiencies we have driven.
"I have been saying over the last few years that unless we are
given adequate resources to tackle the crimes being committed in
our region lives will be lost.
"That has sadly proved to be true.
"Whilst this does not make up for the funding we have lost, I do
welcome even a small reversal in the cuts we've endured. This money
will be directed straight to the front line, ensuring more officers
are available to respond to emergency calls and there is a greater
police presence on our streets.
"I hope the government has now realised that the thin blue line
has become too thin and more officers are needed in the long term
to keep us all safe.
"The government now needs to come forward with a long term funding
solution for West Midlands Police and deliver extra funding to
support young people and prevent violent crime.
The Deputy Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Louisa Rolfe
said: "The additional funding is a welcome boost which will support
our commitment to deploy more officers to tackle knife crime in our
region, working with communities to understand what motivates young
people to carry knives and how we can protect them.
"Boosted by efforts to improve efficiency and get more from our
budget we have also recently announced our plans to recruit a
further 200 officers over the next two years to improve our ability
to police priority areas and investigate crimes that most concern
our communities in the West Midlands."