THE FIGHT against crime amid unprecedented cuts has been eased by changes in government funding, says the police commissioner.
It was initially feared 2,500 more police jobs were set to be axed over five years under a predicted £130million of government funding cuts to the West Midlands force.
A lesser cut by the government is now expected following a campaign for ‘fairer funding’ for the West Midlands.
The new Home Office formula is now estimated to see the proportion of funding the force receives increase from 6.11 per cent to 6.63 per cent of the total funding to all forces in England and Wales.
It would still mean funding cuts of approximately £93million to the West Midlands force – though it remains to be seen if the change will reduce the anticipated 2,500 police job losses.
However, the anticipated extra £36.9million for the force above its previous predictions could change, once the final figures are announced following chancellor George Osborne’s spending review.
The force’s budget currently stands at £500million.
West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said the decision was “a victory for common sense,” and that he will continue to press the government to make sure changes are delivered in full.
Mr Jamieson said: “The West Midlands Police has faced double the cuts of other forces other the last five years.
“I’m determined to make sure that we are not disproportionately hit again.
“I won’t be satisfied until we have actually received the money and will keep pressing until it is actually delivered.”
Mr Jamieson believes the government need to consider how much money police forces require to keep people safe rather than see administer arbitrary cuts.
He added: “West Midlands Police has the second lowest Council Tax take in the country which means we are more reliant on government funding.
“The government needs to look at this area and the lack of flexibility of it in future.
“There are still outstanding issues with the formula and we look forward to working with the government to improve it in the future.”