The Home Affairs Committee has urged the Government to prioritise policing in the Autumn Budget and the next Comprehensive Spending Review, warning that without additional funding for policing, there will be dire consequences for public safety and criminal justice.
In the report figures reveal a -52% change in the number of PCSO’s and Neighbourhood officers on the beat in the West Midlands down from 2,590 to 1,232 between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Responding to the report West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “The government need to wake up to the issues facing policing and take note of this damning report. The government need to give police forces the funding we need, if not there may be dire consequences.
“In the West Midlands we have lost £175 million since 2010 and over 2,000 officers. This has greatly hit our ability to prevent crime and meet the public’s expectations.
“Just to standstill we need £17 million this year. However to make a real difference in the fight against crime West Midlands Police requires a further £25.2 million to increase officer numbers by 500.
“This report is one in a long line, that has concluded that the Home Office is showing a lack of leadership and fundamental changes are needed.
“It is disappointing that the government are the only ones who don’t seem to get it. I hope they take action because of this report and give forces like West Midlands Police the support we need.”
Findings also show that nationally recorded crime is up 32% in 3 years including steep rises in robbery, theft and vehicle crime but charges and summons are down 26%. In many areas the police force is being used as the sole emergency service for mental health crises putting even more pressure on the service.
For year ending March 2018 West Midlands Police handled 2,048,209 of which 233,230
(11%) was to report a crime, 84,984 involving police intervention for the safeguarding of vulnerable people and 17,820 cases involving someone experiencing a mental health crisis.