Police Commissioner condemns "grossly unfair" funding statement

Bob Jones has condemned the police funding announcement as "grossly unfair".

The Home Secretary announced on 19 December Government funding levels for the Police Service for the next financial year.  There has been no movement towards receiving the full funding share in the West Midlands.  The West Midlands grant levels for next year means the levels of reductions required increase from £24million to over £25 million.

Bob Jones, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"The police funding announcements for the West Midlands are extremely disappointing. There has been no movement on grant damping rules.  This means the people of the West Midlands will continue to be penalised to reward areas with much lower policing demands and needs. This is grossly unfair and I will continue to seek support for the Fair Funding Campaign for West Midlands Police Service.

"The grant levels next year now mean that cuts of over £25m will have to be made to our budgets.  It is still my intention to explore ways in which we can put more officers on the streets, through some modest recruitment to include special constables in the next financial year, and by looking at opportunities to free up police officers from back room functions by creating more police staff posts.  Hopefully this will create job opportunities for police staff who would otherwise be faced with redundancy.

"I also want to review the contentious issue of forcing police officers to retire when they have completed thirty years' service, but the financial settlement means it will probably have to be deferred to beyond the next financial year.

"The overall financial picture remains extremely challenging. I am now having urgent meetings with the Chief Constable and senior officers to prepare a budget and precept for 2013/14 to present to the Police and Crime Panel on 21 January 2013.  I will seek to strike a careful balance between:  what needs to be spent to provide the police service which the people of the West Midlands say they need and want; the wholly inadequate levels of Government funding and what it is reasonable to ask local taxpayers to pay."