Skip to main content
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster out with the local neighbourhood team on Soho Road in Handsworth

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Simon Foster, has spoken of his ‘deep concern’ amid proposals for police officers to make fewer arrests, because of overcrowding and a lack of capacity in prisons.

It comes following a letter via the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), urging chief constables across England and Wales to ‘pause non-priority arrests’.

Government and HM Prison Service bosses have also put forward plans to free convicted criminals early, while the use of police cells to house those who would otherwise be in prison, has been temporarily implemented.

Chief constables have also been asked to consider delaying some operations, that would lead to arrests to ease overcrowding, in advice issued by the NPCC.

PCC Simon Foster, meanwhile, says he will now work closely with the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Craig Guildford, to ensure the safety and security of people will not be impacted within the West Midlands.

The PCC said: “I am deeply concerned that the police are being instructed to consider making fewer arrests, to halt planned operations and to use police cells to detain people, who should otherwise be in prisons, as a consequence of the government’s chronic mismanagement of our criminal justice system.

“I will continue to monitor the position here in the West Midlands and work with the Chief Constable, in order to ensure that, as far as possible, the government’s chaotic approach to criminal justice, does not impact on safety and security within the West Midlands.

“This is yet further evidence, of the pressures that continue to be imposed on policing in the West Midlands by central government. That includes having 800 fewer police officers and 500 fewer PCSOs, than we had in 2010 and the force being seriously under-funded. There has been no levelling up in the West Midlands, when it comes to policing.”

Chief Constable Craig Guildford has, though, reassured the public and insists it’s business as usual at West Midlands Police.

He said: “Part of the reason for our 10 per cent crime reduction last year was due to the great teamwork on arrests. The two new custody suites we opened and a 40 per cent increase in arrests has quadrupled our outcomes on behalf of the public. I applaud such hard work as Chief Constable.

“It’s very much business as usual for us in West Midlands. Our cells are fully open and my expectation is that they are to be filled as usual with those who need to be there. Our job is, as a team of officers and staff, to relentlessly pursue those who offend on behalf of the public we serve.”

Back to News Archive

Latest Posts

Keep up to date with news stories about the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Go to the Press Office.

All News

Get the Latest news