COUNCIL taxpayers will be asked to pay an average extra £5 a year to help police in the fight against crime.
It is despite thousands of officer and civilian job losses at the West Midlands force since 2010 in response to government ‘austerity’ funding cuts to forces.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson bucked the trend last year by announcing 800 new officers, 150 PCSOs and 200 specialist police staff to stem the worst of the cuts.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel has now voted to support the 2017/18 budget plans for West Midlands Police, with no votes against.
It means the policing precept – the part of council tax that goes to the police – will increase by 10p a week (£5 a year) for a Band D council taxpayer.
The Band D precept currently stands at £111.55 and will rise to £116.55 in April.
Mr Jamieson said: “The public have made it clear to me that despite government cuts they want local neighbourhood policing to be protected.
“The government is funding the police at a lower level and has made it clear that it expects local people to pay more.
In 2017/18 the West Midlands Police precept will still be the second lowest in the country at £116.55 per annum (for a Band D council taxpayer) compared with the current (2016/17) highest of £220.19 in Surrey, Mr Jamieson says.
The policing precept on a Band D property in Staffordshire is £177.61, West Mercia £189.90 and Warwickshire £191.98.