THE Police and Crime Commissioner’s 2021/22 budget has been approved by the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.
Commissioner David Jamieson is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police, including setting the local ‘police precept’, the part of council tax that goes to the police.
However the overwhelming majority of West Midlands Police’s budget comes from central government.
The amount West Midlands Police can now raise per household from council tax is £177.55.
This follows a request from the PCC to increase the policing precept by £1.25 a month per household (for a band D property). With this increase, West Midlands Police will still have the second lowest policing precept in the country.
The Commissioner launched a public consultation before Christmas asking the public their thoughts on police funding.
Of more than 500 respondents, 89 per cent said they would be happy to pay an increase in council tax to ensure more policing could be provided.
Most properties in the West Midlands are in band A and B and the cost will be less than £1 per month.
Mr Jamieson said: “I want to place on record my thanks to the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel for their cross-party support.
“This increase, of around 30p a week for a band D property, will mean we are able to continue to recruit new police officers and allow the force to grow.
“Whilst the budget will remain under serious pressure, this approval means we are able to provide some of the additional resources the public want.
“I would much rather that the government had fully funded this increase, rather than essentially mandating a council tax increase and pushing the burden onto local taxpayers.
“However, I am pleased that my public consultation concluded that the overwhelming majority of local people were happy to pay that little bit more in their policing precept.”
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