"Insult to injury" - Bob Jones responds to police funding announcement
Speaking about the further cuts to West Midlands Police announced by the
Home Office, Bob Jones said,
"Today's police funding announcement is bad news for West
Midlands Police. The government has imposed more cuts than
expected, and we have been hit harder than other forces. We
were expecting a cut of £19 million in 2014-15, and today's
announcement means another £4 million has been additionally taken,
making a total cut of £23 million.
"The additional cut has come from top slicing the police grant
and the way the government's use of funding "damping" means we
don't get our fair share of national funding, and instead subsidise
other forces. We now get over £44 million less a year than
the national police funding formula says we need. West
Midlands Police faces the worst funding position in the country by
a large margin.
"As a result, relatively low crime areas see their community
safety funding topped up while the West Midlands
suffers. Community safety funding pays for local
schemes that address local priorities and needs. Despite
these unfair cuts from central government, I have committed to
maintain funding in 2014-15 at the level for 2013-14 but the cut
means the shortfall will have to be made up from elsewhere in the
"The additional top slicing of police funding adds insult to
injury and causes deep concern.
"All forces are being made to pay for the direct entry
Superintendents scheme when only two forces have expressed an
interest in recruiting senior officers this way. Thus an
overwhelming number of forces are being made to pay for an
expensive and unnecessary scheme that will be used by a
"The £50 million Innovation Scheme seems designed to provide
incentives for police collaboration which has ground to a halt
since the introduction of police and crime commissioners.
Again, its benefits will not be evenly spread, as the funding will
be of more value to smaller and less efficient forces, rather than
large forces like the West Midlands.
"I remain opposed to cutting police budgets to spend more on the
Independent Police Complaints Commission. This is throwing
good money after bad, when instead there needs to be a new
organisation that has the credibility to investigate serious
complaints against the police.
"Finally, I am very concerned by what appears to be a very
strange plan to nearly double HM Inspectorate of Constabulary's
inspection budget. If this is as it seems, it is very odd to
be taking money from the direct provision of policing to pay for
more inspections and make HMIC more expensive instead, particularly
when not only did the government promise to make inspection leaner
and reduce bureaucracy, but also reduced the responsibilities of
HMIC (by removing their power to inspect PCCs, for example).
"I am incredulous that this is what the Home Secretary calls
"protecting" the police budget."
Commenting on the Home Office financial settlement, Chief
Constable Chris Sims said:
"West Midlands Police has faced significant financial challenges in
the past few years but continues to serve and protect the people of
the West Midlands. I'm proud that my officers and staff tackle
criminality in this region with passion and pride.
"It's disappointing that once again West Midlands Police is facing
deeper savings than other forces because of the way the national
funding arrangements are set up.
"The force continues to innovate and I am looking forward to
opening recruitment for new constables and working with a private
partner next year to develop new ways of working especially in the
area of technology."