The Police and Crime Commissioner’s 2023/24 Budget for West Midlands Police, has been unanimously passed by the cross-party West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.
The Commissioner is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police. This includes setting the local ‘police precept’, which is the part of council tax that supports local policing. However, the overwhelming majority of West Midlands Police’s funding comes from central government.
The government announced last month that Police and Crime Commissioners would be able to raise the police precept by up to £15 per year for a Band D property in 2023/24.
The Police and Crime Commissioner asked the Panel to approve an increase in the police precept of £15.00 per year, which amounts to £1.25 a month, in 2023/24 for a band D property, to keep the people of the West Midlands safe and secure.
This followed a public consultation in which 70% 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 £202.55. West Midlands Police will also be more than £60 per year cheaper than neighbouring police forces.
Simon Foster is committed to rebuilding community policing, by putting 450 extra neighbourhood police officers onto the streets of the West Midlands. This Budget and Precept will support these plans, but the force will still remain under financial pressure and be smaller than it was in 2010.
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, their families and communities, safe and secure. This budget will contribute to that.
“The harsh reality is that the government has provided us with a stark choice. Increase the Council Tax police precept or face yet further cuts to policing, that would see us lose the equivalent of 260 frontline officers. By 2024, in the West Midlands, we will still have 1,000 fewer police officers than we had in 2010 – whilst at the same time, there are police forces in other parts of the country that now have more police officers, than they have ever previously had in their history.
“I will continue to campaign and make representations to central government for the return of our 1,000 missing officers and to secure fair funding for West Midlands Police, to keep the people of the West Midlands safe and secure.”
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