The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel has supported the 2017/18 budget plans for West Midlands Police with no votes against.

The unanimously approved plan means that the policing precept will increase by 10p a week (£5 a year) for a Band D council taxpayer in the West Midlands. The precept for a Band D council taxpayer currently stands at £111.55 and will rise to £116.55 in April.

Despite the small rise people in the West Midlands will be paying over £60 less than neighbouring forces and still paying less than residents in almost every other force area.

In 2017/18 the West Midlands Police precept will still be the second lowest in the country at just £116.55 per annum (for a Band D council taxpayer) compared to the current (2016/17) highest of £220.19 in Surrey.

Neighbouring forces currently (2016/17) charge the below for their policing precept on a Band D property: Staffordshire £177.61, West Mercia £189.90 and Warwickshire £191.98.

As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review last year, the Chancellor gave forces with historically low precepts, such as West Midlands, the ability to raise their precept by £5 per annum, compared to 2% for other areas. In official Government documents, the Home Office and Treasury expects that all Police Crime and Commissioners will increase the precept by the maximum amount each year over the next four years. That increase would maintain police funding at its current level and help to fill the gap in funding from the Government, who are continuing to cut the amount of money they give to West Midlands Police.

The provisional grant settlement from the Home Office indicated that West Midlands Police would also be receiving £6 million less in government funding than last year.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:

“The public have made it clear to me that despite government cuts they want local neighbourhood policing to be protected. To protect neighbourhood policing and get the force ready for the new threats the West Midlands faces I am recruiting 800 officers, 150 PCSOs and 200 specialist police staff.

“The government have made it clear that to cover their reduction in police funding they expect PCCs to increase council tax precept by the maximum amount. In the West Midlands that would mean council tax increasing by £5 a year or just under 10p a week for a Band D council taxpayer.

“The government have made it clear that to maintain cash budgets at current levels precepts must be increased by the maximum amount.

“In short, the government is funding the police at a lower level and has made it clear that it expects local people to pay more. In the West Midlands that means that there will be a 10p a week (£5 a year) increase on the policing precept for a Band D council taxpayer.

“The cross party panel recognised the governments cuts and their change of emphasis. The panel also noted that West Midlands Police continues to offer excellent value for money compared to neighbouring forces, who even after this increase will all be charging over £60 more than we do for policing.”

Number of properties and precept charges for 2016/17 and 2017/18:

Council Tax Band

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

Number of properties in the West Midlands

432,000

311,110

203,870

102,580

54,410

26,550

15,100

1,730

2016/17 Precept (£)

74.37

86.76

99.16

111.55

136.34

161.13

185.92

223.10

2017/18 Precept (£)

77.70

90.65

103.60

116.55

142.45

168.35

194.25

233.10

Change Annual (£)

3.33

3.89

4.44

5.00

6.11

7.22

8.33

10.00

Change Weekly (£)

0.06

0.07

0.09

0.10

0.12

0.14

0.16

0.19

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