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Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is strengthening his commitment to invest in West Mercia Police and ensure communities receive an efficient service through his 2020 budget proposals.

In February, the Commissioner will be setting his budget which not only funds the police force but also the commissioning activities that help support crime reduction and victim services.

However, uncertainty around central funding for the forthcoming financial year, caused by an unusual December general election, is resulting in the Commissioner consulting with the public with not as much information as previous years.

Whilst Government is aiming to provide certainty as soon as possible, the Commissioner is required to consult with the public on their views before he makes a decision in February.

At this stage the Commissioner is proposing a 2.94% increase for the policing portion of council tax (which equates to approximately 50p extra per month for a Band D household). This option was factored into a strategy he announced a year ago and covers the rising costs facing West Mercia Police. It will support the Commissioner to continue reforming the force, allow investment for the tools that officers need in order to carry out their roles effectively, and will enable officer numbers to be protected.

For completeness, and due to the uncertainty around central funding, the Commissioner has included two other scenarios in his consultation. The first is based on a 2% council tax increase (a cap that is currently imposed by Government), and the second is based on the maximum that was allowed for the current financial year (£12/5.54%).

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “During my term of office I have been able to focus West Mercia Police to spend public money as efficiently as possible before I consider asking the public for more. We have made progress, but there is more to be made.

“Through last year’s budget we were able to increase police officer numbers to the highest level since 2012, and with the addition of the share from the Government’s 20,000 officer uplift we will see that increase. It is important that we are able to allocate funding that enables us to protect these numbers so communities can continue to reap the benefits, and the force can deal with the demands placed on them due to the changing nature of crime.

“I set out to be the Commissioner who represents the public in policing, so your views are important. I would therefore encourage you to take part in the consultation so you can help shape this important decision in how your local police services are funded.”

To take part in the consultation, click here. Please note that the survey closes on Friday 24th January.

Issued on: Monday 6th January