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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is seeking the views of the people of the region on the important matters facing policing 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 and 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 on the public’s views on increasing the council tax precept by up to £1.25 per month (£15 per year for a band D property) – less than 30p a week. 

Most properties in the West Midlands are in band A and B and the cost would be less than £1 per month.

The West Midlands Police Precept is the second lowest in the country and remains at least £60 less than neighbouring forces. Warwickshire Police currently has a council tax precept of £237.97 per year.

The precept for the West Midlands is currently £162.55 which compared to a similar force such as Greater Manchester which has its precept set at £208.30.

An increase of £15 for the year 2021/22 would mean that West Midlands Police could continue to recruit officers, although the budget will remain under pressure.

Without this increase, vital police staff who undertake key investigations may be at risk.

Police staff include those who answer 999 emergency calls, investigators, forensics and all those who support frontline police officers.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “West Midlands Police has had a challenging decade. Having had its officers cut by over 2,000 and budget by £175m. This is the biggest cut that any police force faced.

“This year alone has presented us all with working through a serious public health crisis. The impact this has had an impact on the force and society.

“Now, the government has assumed this increase in the policing precept and stated that they expect police forces to increase their policing precept by £15 for a band D property.

“To ensure that the force can grow and continue to provide a first class service to the public, this small increase on average of £1.25 per month is going to be key.

“Without it, the force will see a shortfall in its budget which will mean that reductions will have to be identified.

“I would much rather that the government had fully funded this increase, rather than pushing the burden onto local taxpayers. If we do not increase the precept, it will mean losing police officers and staff.

“I would encourage everybody in the West Midlands, if you work, live or study in the region to respond to this consultation.”

The consultation will run until 31 January 2021 and can be accessed here.

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