The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner says the Chancellor’s failure to invest in policing is a ‘missed opportunity’.
It comes as Phillip Hammond failed to guarantee extra funding for local forces.
David Jamieson said,
“I am concerned that the Chancellor failed to announce extra money for local police forces. This comes as a huge blow and will hit forces, who are facing rising levels of violent crime, hard.
“The Chancellor has also failed to take action on the crippling police pension changes that is costing local forces £417 million. In the West Midlands this may cost over 450 police officer posts.
“Whilst the commitment to support counter terrorism policing is welcome, there have also been no guarantees that this money will not be sliced out of existing police budgets.
“The government has hinted it may force Police and Crime Commissioners to increase local council tax if they want their forces to stay afloat. We require extra government funding rather than constantly squeezing local council tax payers.
“In the West Midlands we need £17 million to stand still, that would require 16% in council tax increases here on the average band D property, if the government doesn’t increase funding.
“This really feels like a missed opportunity to support police forces and prioritise public safety.
“I also fear we will remain in the perverse position of West Midlands Police having been cut by over twice as much as leafy, low-crime Surrey Police.
“To halt the alarming rise in crime and fall in officer numbers police forces like West Midlands Police needed extra investment, once again after warm words it has failed to materialise.”