Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police: Cuts 'threaten 1,000 jobs' - PCC

Bob Jones
Image caption Bob Jones said that recruitment was "difficult" because of funding cuts

Further government funding cuts could lead to 1,000 more jobs going at West Midlands Police, its police and crime commissioner (PCC) has warned.

More than 2,700 jobs, including 1,100 officer posts, are to be cut by the force by 2015 to save £126m.

PCC Bob Jones said if current patterns of cuts continued, the force would lose a further £100m by 2018.

The Home Office said police budgets for the financial year 2015-16 would be announced in June.

In a report to the Strategic Policing and Crime Board, Mr Jones said he feared the force budget would fall by 28% between 2011 and 2018.

'Fair deal for policing'

He said: "A reduction on this scale poses a grave risk to policing in the West Midlands, with less resource available for the preventative policing that has consistently driven down recorded crime for the last 15 years.

"The continued cuts also make it difficult to plan for restarting recruitment, which is essential to bring in new blood and new ideas."

The report will be discussed at a meeting of the board on Tuesday.

Mr Jones also said the future of all police stations would be reviewed, after last month the force announced it was closing Steelhouse Lane, Queens Road and Belgrave Middleway stations.

The Home Office said the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, was currently leading a comprehensive spending review across the government, which included police budgets.

It said the results of the review would be published on 26 June.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "Police reforms are working and since June 2010 crime has fallen by 5% in Warwickshire and 15% in the West Midlands.

"The vast majority of forces are rising to the challenge we set them of improving services while making their contribution to reducing the deficit.

"We are sweeping away central targets, bureaucracy and red tape so forces can focus resources on the front line and concentrate on their one core mission — to cut crime."

Mr Jones said he would be writing to West Midlands MPs asking them to lobby the government for more funding support.

"It's time to let Danny and the government know we want a fair deal for policing in the West Midlands," he said.

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