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Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has had his 2024/25 budget for West Midlands Police passed by the cross-party West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.

The PCC is responsible for setting the budget of West Midlands Police. This includes setting the local ‘police precept’, which is that part of council tax that supports local policing. However, the overwhelming majority of West Midlands Police’s funding comes from central government.

The Police and Crime Commissioner asked the Panel to approve an increase in the police precept of £13 per year, which amounts to £1.08 a month, in 2024/25 for a band D property, to maintain police officer and staff numbers and keep the people of the West Midlands safe and secure.

This followed a public consultation, in which more than half of the consultation responses were supportive of the Commissioner’s budget and precept proposals.

The amount West Midlands Police raises per household from council tax, for a Band D property, will continue to be the second lowest in England at £215.55. The West Midlands local police precept will also be more than £53 per year cheaper than neighbouring police forces.

This Budget and Precept will support the PCC’s plans to continue to rebuild community policing and prevent, tackle and reduce crime, but the force budget will still remain under severe financial pressure.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster said:

“Passing this budget means we are able to continue to put more neighbourhood police officers into our communities. People told me that they wanted preventative, proactive, problem solving and visible police officers out on the streets, keeping people, families, businesses and communities, safe and secure. This budget will enable West Midlands Police to deliver for the people of the West Midlands.

“The harsh reality is that once again the government has provided us with a stark choice. Increase the Council Tax police precept or face yet further cuts to policing.

“It is important to understand that the government’s Funding Settlement assumes that every Force will increase its precept, in accordance with the maximum flexibility it has provided for.

“The effect of this is that the government is to all intents and purposes, mandating an increase in the precept. This also illustrates that the government settlement does not maintain the baseline funding that West Midlands Police needs to operate on a day to day basis, to deliver an effective and efficient police service.

“The government is determined to continue with its strategy of requiring the people of the West Midlands to pay more local Council Tax, for less local policing.

“I would much rather that the government had fully funded this increase, rather than effectively mandating it and imposing the burden onto local taxpayers, in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

“With rising costs and inflation, West Midlands Police’s budget remains under severe pressure.”

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