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Extra 115 police officers planned for West Mercia under budget proposals

By Mat Growcott | Crime | Published:

The plans would see council tax rise in Shropshire to help fund the officers.

An extra 115 police officers could be added to West Mercia's ranks under budget proposals that would see council tax rise in Shropshire.

If the plans go ahead, West Mercia Police numbers would rise to around 2,150 officers - the highest level the force has seen since 2012.

The proposal is part of Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion's plans for the coming years.

The investment would be funded by an increase in central grant funding from Government, as well as an increase in the council tax police precept of about £1.60 per household.

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“I have listened to feedback from our communities in West Mercia who have been very consistent: people want more police officers, and they want to see them out on the streets, tackling crime and keeping us safe," the PCC said.

“I believe my budget proposals deliver on that.

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"It ensures the additional capacity for our hard-working police to deliver an even better service to communities, as well as an increase in dedicated resources for rural crime.

“I promised I would ensure the public’s money is spent as efficiently as possible before asking for any more, and have delivered on that promise with the lowest council tax increases in England and Wales in the last two years.

"With a clear commitment to invest this extra resource directly into additional frontline officers, I hope the communities of West Mercia will support my proposals."

New central funding for West Mercia will mean the force gets a budget of £122.4 million next year – an increase of about £2.3m over this year.

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The Home Office also now allows more flexibility in council tax funding, allowing Mr Campion to increase the precept.

An additional 100 officers were announced for the force earlier this year.

Mr Campion said although council tax could go up, it was a small amount for a "very important service".

A consultation on the draft budget has now started, and will close on January 20. For further details visit westmercia-pcc.gov.uk

Across England and Wales police funding will potentially rise by £813m – with around £500m coming from council tax increases.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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