Despite inflationary challenges, PCC John Campion is committing to seeing through his plans for a Safer West Mercia by boosting officer numbers to the highest on record.
As part of the proposed budget for 2023/24, 20 additional police officers will bring the force’s establishment figure to 2,476. These additional officers will be based at the heart of communities, focused on addressing and tackling community concerns.
This budget will also focus on addressing community concerns, such as road safety, anti-social behaviour and drugs – which were identified as part of a consultation the PCC carried out earlier in the year. Other areas of focus include bringing more offenders to justice, preventing crime and ensuring the journey for victims is improved through the use of technology. However, the budget setting has also had to address challenges associated with inflation.
PCC John Campion said: “I am committed to ensuring this budget continues the delivery of my Safer West Mercia Plan, whilst tackling the unavoidable cost pressures we face and maximising the value of investments I have made to address the concerns of communities.
“Communities have told me loud and clear that they want more police officers. This is why I have ensured that frontline policing numbers are protected, but I have also allocated funding to boost numbers by a further 20 to focus on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in communities. It is also important that the public can access West Mercia Police, so investment will also be placed in improving public contact.
“I have always promised that I would ensure every penny is spent wisely, before ever asking for more, but I am in a position where I have no choice but to increase the precept, due to the fact the funding that comes from Government isn’t going to keep up with inflation. However, I hope communities can see that I’ve worked hard to control costs, and I have remained focused on delivering what they want, and expect, despite budgets being squeezed.”
Residents of West Mercia can have their say until 6th January 2023 by completing the PCC’s consultation.