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Executive Summary

The Commissioner must set an annual budget for the financial year 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 in compliance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the Police and Crime Panel (Precept and Chief Constable

Appointments) Regulations 2013 made thereunder.

The Commissioner has agreed a 5.94% increase in the precept for 2023/24 (previous Decision Record PCC/D/2023/08) which had been considered by the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel and supported by them.

This paper sets out how the 2023/24 budget will be allocated to meet the priorities in the Safer West Mercia Plan, meet the operational requirements for Policing in West Mercia.


The PCC is recommended to approve:

A Net Revenue Budget for West Mercia of £273.038m as the opening budget for 2023/24 financial year, based on the available funding.

  • That the PCC authorises the use of £4.030m of funding from reserves to give a total budget of £277.068m.
  • That the Force Revenue Budget is set at £253.901m.
  • That the OPCC Revenue Budget is set at £23.167m (incorporating estates, commissioning, and governance).

That the budget loaded into the Financial Ledger will match the service department spend set out in Appendix Bii of the budget report.

  • That the West Mercia Police savings plan, summarised in the budget report and set out in full in part 2 of this decision notice, will be delivered by the Force as an integral part of setting a balanced revenue budget. Regular updates provided through the year on the delivery of the savings plan as part of the Money Matters report.
  • Any changes to the revenue budget will require a virement through the appropriate governance framework and processes.

The Chief Constable

Has committed to recruiting and maintaining a Police Officer FTE establishment of 2,496 and to ensure compliance with Home Office PUP conditions to receive the specific funding as set out by the Home Office in its letter dated 7th March

2023. The Chief Constable will regularly report to the PCC as to the actual West Mercia Police Officer headcount.

  • Will report regularly to West Mercia Governance Board on progress against delivery of investment priorities set out in the budget report. The Chief Constable will use best endeavours to establish the new The Safer Neighbourhood Crime Fighting teams by the end of Q1, and in any event by the end of Q2 of 2023/24. Will communicate details of allocation of staff and officers quarterly as part of the reporting above, including details of vacancies, abstractions and sickness levels in teams.

Will undertake a holistic review of the management and administration of West Mercia police. The scope of this review will be shared/agreed with the PCC by the end of July 2023, with the principal intention to realise savings to the revenue budget, improving efficiency and maintaining effectiveness within West Mercia Police.

  • Will continue to review all vacant posts which arise during the year to assess whether the post can be removed/reallocated to contribute to bridging the future MTFS budget gap. Progress against delivery to be reported through the 2024/25 budget setting timetable. The PCC will be kept informed of any proposals to change the Force’s operating model, including any proposed de-civilianisation of support functions.
  • Will provide all the data to demonstrate the performance against the metrics set out in the budget report, to achieve the PCC timetable for reporting to the Police and Crime Panel.

The Chief Executive of the OPCC

  • Has committed to supporting West Mercia Police to rationalise the Police Estate over the medium term, which will realise both capital receipts and revenue savings. The Chief Executive will report on the progress to the PCC on a regular basis.
  • Has committed to deliver savings in the estate’s revenue budget through effective contract management and ensuring that maintenance routines and repairs are cost effective with the resources available. Delivery of these savings will be monitored through monthly OPCC budget monitoring.

Provide regular reporting and reassurance to the PCC around the effective and efficient use of commissioning resources.

An annual Capital Budget for 2023/24 of £28.624m.

Approval of West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

I hereby approve the above proposal.

Please see full Budget Report which the above refers to here.

To read a PDF signed copy of this decision notice click here. If you would like this decision notices and the appendices in an accessible format please email [email protected]