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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has set-out his ‘key asks’ of the new government in a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The PCC’s three ‘key asks’ are:

  • Funding to return officer numbers to 2010 levels.
  • Support to reduce the number of exclusions to prevent children being driven into violent, drug related county lines.
  • Re-starting the Ministerial Taskforce on Vehicle Crime.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, David Jamieson, said:
Dear Prime Minister,
As the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, may I congratulate you on your recent general election success and on behalf of the people of the West Midlands, I offer you an invitation to come to the West Midlands to discuss the urgent need for major investment in Policing in our region.
One of your key promises during the election was to recruit a further 20,000 Police Officers across the country.  This I welcome. My concern however is that there is a danger that a disproportionate number these recruits will be directed to low crime, rural areas of the country such as leafy Surrey and not where they are most needed. I refer of course to urban conurbations such as ours which has been hit hardest from Government cutbacks from 2010 onwards.

Therefore, with the New Year just hours away, on behalf of the people of the West Midlands, may I press upon you our key demands for a 2020 New Year which highlights our most urgent needs and will thereby enable you to implement and fulfil your key election promises once 2020 arrives.
Our ‘key asks’ include three specific areas:

  1. We need the funding to return officer numbers to 2010 levels. West Midlands Police has lost 2,131 officers since 2010, but based on current projections, the force is only expecting to receive funding for around 1,200 officers.  I am concerned that resources have once again been divided using a blunt and outdated formula that disadvantages areas like the West Midlands and helps leafy, lower crime areas, that have lost fewer officers than forces like ours. I request that officers are allocated based on the crime threat and need of forces, so that areas like the West Midlands can tackle the serious threats we face.
  2. To put pressure on local education providers to reduce the number of West Midlands children excluded from school and other education providers and offer new alternative positive solutions and support. This will help prevent excluded children from being driven into violent, drug related county lines. We also seek the ending of the practice of ‘off rolling students’ for the purpose of protecting school satisfactory Ofsted reports and inflating examination pass rates which exposes children to harm still further through school exclusion.
  3. Vehicle crime has increased hugely over recent years. The previous government set-up a ministerial taskforce on the issue. West Midlands Police and my office were members of the group, working with the Home Office and manufacturers to tackle vehicle crime. That group has not met for many months, I urge you to re-start it immediately. Vehicle thefts are driven by poor vehicle security standards and a poorly regulated market in scrapped vehicles, parts and road worthiness certification. There is a danger these crimes are seen as merely property crimes. They do involve, on many occasions, considerable violence. The pursuits involved also present a real risk to both officers and the general public. I would be grateful for further urgent progress on this matter, especially progress with manufacturers on security measures.

May I wish you and your family a very happy New Year. My team will be contacting your Downing Street Office to offer you an invitation to come and see the challenges we face during 2020. I also sincerely hope you will give careful consideration to my asks, and help to ensure the West Midlands becomes an even safer place to live and work in.

Yours sincerely,

David Jamieson
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

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