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West Midlands Police at ‘grave risk’ from £250m grant cuts

West Midlands Police at ‘grave risk’ from £250m grant cuts

🕔13.May 2013

crimeCrime-fighting across the West Midlands is being put at “grave risk” by Government spending cuts, Police Commissioner Bob Jones has claimed.

In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Jones forecast that the force budget will have been cut by almost £250 million between 2010 and 2017 – a 28 per cent reduction in spending power.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of the Strategic Policing and Crime Board (SPCB), Mr Jones said he expected about 2,500 uniformed police officers would have left the force during that time and could not be replaced  without additional funding. More than 1,500 civilian jobs will have been axed as well.

The SPCB’s last meeting heard how the West Midlands was leading the assault against crime with recorded offences falling to the lowest levels since the mid-1990s. Mr Jones suggested the trend could be reversed due to the funding crisis.

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 fifteen years.

“We’ve already lost getting on for 1,500 officers, and more cuts on this scale could mean another thousand will leave by 2018. The continued cuts make it difficult to plan for restarting recruitment, which is essential to bring in new blood and new ideas.”

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