Police funding boost welcomes by West Mercia chief
An extra £1 billion of police funding by the Government has been welcomed by chiefs in the West Midlands.
Cash for police forces will rise by 10 per cent for 2020/21, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced.
Boris Johnson made increased funding for police and extra officers one of his key election pledges.
John Campion, Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Mercia force, which includes Shropshire and Worcestershire, said: “This significant increase in funding will support the work I am doing locally, helping us reinforce the efforts to fight crime, ultimately making our communities safer.
“I am grateful that the Government have delivered on their promise to focus on the issues that have the biggest impact on our communities and I am committed to making best use of the additional resources locally.
“Now that we have the figures, I will be considering the options available in the days ahead.”
West Midlands’ Labour Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Jamieson welcomed the added investment, expected to be around £50 million for the region, but said there was “much more for them to do”.
Mr Jamieson has been a staunch critic of the Conservative Government and its cuts to policing over the last decade.
He insists even with the Prime Minister’s promise of an extra 1,200 officers it will still leave the West Midlands 900 short on the levels of 2010.
Mr Jamieson, said: “At last the Government have recognised the damage they have done with ten years of cuts to policing. This must be the first step in addressing the chronic funding problems that still exist.
“I am pleased that after years of campaigning we have had some success in changing the government’s direction. There is much more for them to do though.”
“Since 2010 West Midlands Police have lost over 2,100 officers and faced real terms cuts of £175 million in government funding. Today’s announcement does not come close to unravelling a decade of underinvestment in police forces.
“Out of the Government’s planned 20,000 uplift in officer numbers – based on today’s figures - West Midlands Police can expect around 1,200 officers, despite having lost nearly double that number.
“It should also be noted that while good quality policing is crucial to reducing crime, other services have a big role to play to. We need to see an increase in youth services if the government are serious about tackling the root causes of crime too.”
The announcement was also welcomed by Conservative MP for Dudley South Mike Wood, who said: ““Boris Johnson promised that he would make policing a priority, recruiting 20,000 more police officers over the next three years.
“This billion pound package is a fantastic first step towards delivering that, making our streets and our homes safer.
“It means £50 million more for West Midlands Police next year – a per cent increase on this year’s budget. My constituents and businesses in Dudley South will rightly expect the Police and Crime Commissioner to use this to reflect their priorities and tackle crime in every part of the West Midlands.”