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Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has welcomed the recruitment of more than 200 new student officers to West Midlands Police – but issued a stark warning that much more needs to be done to rebuild policing in the West Midlands.

The force saw the arrival of the new recruits last week, but Simon Foster has called on the government to return our 1,000 missing police officers and provide fair funding for West Midlands Police.

He said: “Whilst I welcome the recruitment of these new officers and congratulate West Midlands Police on its successful recruitment drive, it is clear there is still much more to be done to rebuild policing in the region.

“Reckless financial cuts, imposed by the government, saw us lose more than 2,000 police officers – 25% of our police officers – and many hundreds of essential police staff, including 300 Police Community Support Officers. Community policing was dismantled. That was a big mistake, counter-productive and a false economy.

“Government cuts to policing have had a serious adverse impact on police visibility, response times, the conduct of investigations and the ability of West Midlands Police to prevent and tackle crime. We have all been paying the price, with less justice, safety and security.

“Despite the so-called uplift, we still have 1,000 fewer police officers than we had in 2010. There is no levelling up when it comes to our police officers. The people of the West Midlands have been short changed.

“In addition, the government continues to support a police funding formula that costs the West Midlands £40 million a year, the equivalent of 800 police officers; allocated us the fifth worst financial settlement in the country; and have left West Midlands Police with a budget deficit of £28.1 million.

“I am committed to constant and unremitting action to rebuild community policing and to prevent, tackle and reduce crime. We need a government that will invest in policing, community safety and our criminal justice system, to keep people, their families and communities safe and secure.”

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