Budget, Precept, anticipated income and proposed expenditure 2019/20
A message from PCC David Jamieson:
This budget will mean that West Midlands Police does not shrink
any further. Since 2010, the spending power of the force has been
reduced by £175m which has led to 2,000 fewer officers on the
streets as a result of government cuts.
The police funding announcement from central government for
2019/20 cut the spending power of local forces and required Police
and Crime Commissioners to seek money from the local council tax
payers in their areas. The force is also facing additional pensions
costs of over £15 million from government.
In official Government documents, the Home Office and Treasury
expects that all Police Crime and Commissioners will increase the
precept by the maximum amount. Therefore it is essentially a
Government expectation that police precepts are increased by the
I asked the people for their thoughts on the government proposed
£24-a-year increase (for a band D property) on the policing
precept, however for most people in the West Midlands this will be
between £16-£19. This would mean the force will not shrink further.
It would still leave local people paying at least £60 less than
people in neighbouring force areas such as Staffordshire, West
Mercia and Warwickshire. 76% of the over 500 consultation responses
were supportive of the budget plans.
To ensure the force doesn't shrink any further, the government
has strongly indicated it expects PCCs to increase council tax by
the maximum amount. That means a £24-a-year increase for a Band D
With the force still facing real terms cuts it is the only option
left to protect officer numbers. I would prefer government not to
shift the cost onto local council tax payers, but they have left no
Government funding does not match the huge increases in pension
costs that they have placed on West Midlands Police and
inflationary pressures we are facing. This means that to plug the
gap in police funding the government have essentially mandated
Commissioners to increase the council tax by the maximum amount, or
cut officer numbers even further. I was not prepared to see police
officer numbers reduce further, that means that this increase in
council tax is a necessity to maintain police on our streets and
keep our communities safe.