The new West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is asking for an increase in council tax bills to pay for more cops and new technology. In his report to the Police and Crime Panel, Bob Jones says he will try to increase the policing element of Council Tax bills from £99.45 to £102.43 a year for a Band D property – equivalent to an extra 5p a week.
Mr Jones said: “I am committed to keeping the policing precept as low as possible. Although this increase will cost households a few pounds a year extra, it will release 100 officers to operational frontline duties. By recruiting police staff to roles currently carried out by a mixture of police officers and police staff the funding will help to maintain current service levels in key front line areas.”
Mr Jones will also be drawing up to £30 million from the Force’s reserves to support “invest to save” capital schemes and projects such as more efficient custody facilities. Despite this proposed increase, the local charge for policing in the West Midlands will remain the second lowest in the country. He added: “By ending a number of expensive building leases, I will reduce the cost of the police estate, thereby saving further money. This modest proposed increase is a sound and sustainable approach to ensuring effective and efficient policing in the West Midlands.”
Source: Birmingham Mail
14th January 2013