Budget, Precept, anticipated income and proposed expenditure 2013-14
Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones has set an
increase of 3% in the policing precept in 2013-14, the part of the
Council Tax that goes to policing. The current Band D
policing precept is £99.45, which will rise to an estimated
This is equivalent to a few pence a week more for policing in
2013-14 council tax bills, in order to put the Force on a more
sustainable financial footing given unfair government cuts, pay for
investment in new technologies and return more officers to the
streets of the West Midlands.
Bob Jones said, "I am committed to keeping the policing precept
as low as possible. Although this increase will cost
households a few pounds a year extra, it will release 100 officers
to operational frontline duties. By recruiting police staff
to roles currently carried out by a mixture of police officers and
police staff (roles that do not require the full powers of a police
constable), the funding will help to maintain current service
levels in service areas that do require police powers. This enables
the serving police officers in these roles to be re-allocated to
more operational duties. The new police staff posts will also
provide redeployment opportunities for existing police staff who
would otherwise be made redundant, thereby saving recruitment and
In order to minimise the burden on taxpayers, Bob will also be
drawing down £25-£30 million from the Force's reserves to support
"invest to save" capital schemes and projects such as new more
efficient custody facilities.
Speaking about his 2013-14 budget, Bob said, "Prudent financial
management has enabled this efficient use of reserves.
There is a need to invest in key areas of infrastructure to enable
lower cost solutions to be implemented, such as exiting expensive
city centre lease arrangements, releasing significant revenue
savings in the future. By ending a number of expensive
building leases, I will reduce the cost of the police estate,
thereby saving further taxpayer money, and assist in the
sustainability of existing police stations."
In agreeing this increase, Bob has rejected the offer of a one
off 1% government grant for freezing the policing precept.
Bob said, "The government's meagre offer of a 1% grant if the
precept was frozen doesn't deal with the challenges the West
Midlands faces. If I were to have accepted a further freeze
grant for 2013/14 and 2014/15, in addition to those taken in the
past, it is estimated that by 2015/16, when the freeze grant would
no longer be paid, there would have to be a precept increase in the
order of 10% to replace the 'lost' spending power. I do not
believe that is a prudent and responsible approach to take and
action should be taken as soon as possible to establish a stable
He added, "The Government's offer was little more than a payday
loan, just putting off the difficult decisions for a short while,
and not addressing the underlying problems. This modest
increase - which is much less than the 5% the government said we
could have increased by - is a sound and sustainable approach to
ensuring effective and efficient policing in the West Midlands"
Bob will passport Community Safety Funding that previously went
to local authorities directly back to local areas. He
wants to see the development of community led Local Policing and
Crime Boards that will set local priorities, allocate funds, and
hold local policing and community safety activity to account.
These local boards will build on the existing statutory Community
Safety Partnerships that already exist in each local authority
area. In all, nearly £7 million will be passported back to local
areas to address local community safety priorities.
In line with overall budget reductions, the cost of the office
that supports the PCC will fall too, declining from £1.991m in
2012-13 to £1.884m in 2013-14, a 5.4% reduction that's worth over
£100,000. This reduction is in accordance with Bob's
manifesto commitment to ensure that the cost of the office of the
PCC is lower than that of the outgoing Police Authority.