20th Oct, 2017

Fair funding plea to ministers as West Midlands police faces damaging cuts

Les Reid 29th Jul, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

West Midlands’ police commissioner has issued a plea to the government for a “fairer funding deal” with 2,500 more police job losses in the pipeline.

As the Observer reported yesterday, the force has started a review of how best to cut policing in communities.

It would help save £130million by 2020, in line with further anticipated government cuts.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has today renewed a plea for a fairer funding from ministers ahead of a parliamentary debate on September 9.

MPs will raise West Midlands’ concerns that its police force is having to deal with government funding cuts which are twice as bad as at other forces.

Mr Jamieson and Coventry MPs including Geoffrey Robinson and Jim Cunningham have pointed to  independent National Audit Office figures to show how disproportionately the West Midlands force is being cut relative to other areas – including leafy areas in the south east where there is far less crime.

Mr Jamieson says he is “increasingly worried that, despite this, the West Midlands may be singled out again for further disproportionate cuts, above and beyond what has already been outlined.”

The MPs’ Westminster Hall debate on ‘Funding for West Midlands Police’ will come just days before a crucial government consultation on the funding formula ends on September 15.

Labour MPs are concerned the funding cuts are jeapordising frontline policing in communities and could harm the fight against crime.

Mr Jamieson said: “To deal with the huge and disproportionate budget cuts that we have faced we are reviewing every element of our policing effort and putting in place a plan to keep the public safe within the budget we currently have.

“That was an extremely difficult task considering that we will have cuts of around 45 per cent between 2010 and 2020.

“What concerns me is that further disproportionate cuts, above that and above what other forces have faced will make that task even more difficult.

“As such the government must recognise that it is both unfair and irrational to single out the West Midlands in this way.

“Independent analysis shows that the West Midlands has faced cuts of 23%, compared to 12% in Surrey.

“It is clear that crime is changing not falling, and the issues that we are increasingly dealing with such as child sexual exploitation, radicalisation and cyber crime require more intensive, detailed police work.”The government needs to consider that when reviewing the funding for police forces.

“I have raised this issue with government many times and will continue to stand up for the West Midlands and fight for a fairer deal.”

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