POLICE and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has launched his annual consultation on the budget for West Midlands Police.
The PCC is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police, which receives the majority of its funding from central government and also through a precept on council tax.
Part of the PCC’s role is to set the precept for council tax which is allocated to the police.
Mr Jamieson is asking for the views of the public on main priorities when it comes to policing the region.
He is also consulting on the public’s views on increasing the council tax precept by up to £1.25 per month (£15 per year for a band D property) – less than 30p a week.
The West Midlands Police Precept is the second lowest in the country – neighbouring Warwickshire Police currently has a council tax precept of £237.97 per year while the one for the West Midlands is £162.55 at the moment.
Mr Jamieson says an increase of £15 for 2021-22 would mean West Midlands Police could continue to recruit officers, although the budget would remain under pressure.
He said: “West Midlands Police has had a challenging decade. Having had its officers cut by over 2,000 and budget by £175million.
“This is the biggest cut that any police force faced.
“The government has assumed this increase in the policing precept and stated they expect police forces to increase their policing precept by £15 for a band D property.
“Without it, the force will see a shortfall which will mean that reductions will have to be identified.
“I would much rather the government had fully funded this increase, rather than pushing the burden onto local taxpayers.
“I would encourage everybody to respond to this consultation.”
The consultation will run until January 24, 2021 and can be accessed here: https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/pcc-seeks-views-of-the-public-on-police-budget