An uplift in officers, focused on preventing and tackling crime in the heart of communities across West Mercia, headlines PCC John Campion’s budget proposals.
Proposals, which have been shaped by the public’s response to the PCC’s budget consultation, will see a continued focus on accessibility and visibility of police officers.
A new crime fighting team of 55 officers will be established along with 10 Community Safety Engagement Officers across West Mercia. These teams are possible due to 40 additional police officers that will be recruited, and the utilisation of previous growth in officers.
Following its success in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, DRIVE’s domestic abuse perpetrator programme will be rolled out across the rest of West Mercia to tackle violence against women and girls.
Over £2 million will be invested to deliver the Safer Communities project in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Shropshire to address local issues around crime prevention and reducing vulnerability.
As set out in the PCC’s Safer West Mercia Plan, further transformation is planned to reform West Mercia Police by improving technology which enables the force to work more efficiently and provide a better service to the public.
More than 560 residents had their say in the PCC’s budget consultation. A majority of respondents to the survey (57%) said they would be willing to pay more towards policing.
Following support for a council tax rise, the PCC is proposing to increase the precept by 5.94%, an extra 29p per week. This will mean an average Band D household will pay £246.50 a year – the fourth lowest increase in council tax when compared to other PCCs.
West Mercia Police is not immune to the cost-of-living pressures that everyone is facing. This presents an ever-greater challenge to meet.
The PCC will continue to work with the Chief Constable to support the continued transformation of West Mercia Police to meet those financial challenges.
PCC John Campion said: “I would like to thank everyone who completed my budget consultation. As the voice of the public in policing, I have used your responses to shape budget proposals that deliver on your priorities.
“Key themes from the survey results centred on more accessible and visible police officers. I have heard this loud and clear and that’s why I am committed to increasing police officer numbers to record levels in West Mercia and boosting local crime fighting teams.
“There is no avoiding the fact that the cost of living is rising. No one is immune from these inflationary challenges and despite the precept increase, there will be an imbalance between the funding required and funding available meaning significant challenges for West Mercia Police.
“I have taken onboard the views of the public and the Chief Constable when pulling together the budget proposals ensuring it is balanced against the need to provide sufficient funding – and the best value of money – in keeping the people of West Mercia safe.”
Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “Over the last year we have made huge strides forward in our mission to continue improving the service we deliver for our communities. Whilst we face significant challenges due to the country’s financial pressures and difficult decisions will have to be made, the budget proposals will enable us to continue investing resources in the areas that will have the most positive impact on our communities, and give the best results as we continue to focus on reducing and detecting crime.”
View the full budget proposals here: