Bad, Bad News from the Police!

This morning I received this information from the Deputy Chief Constable. It is news that I feel very concerned about. As a Local City Councillor it cannot be seen as anything but retrograde. I already hold great concerns about the Policing here in Wednesfield & Wolverhampton. I feel as though I am running into trouble with my Local Police team over crime issues already.

This further loss of resource will seriously hinder the way that Policing is undertaken here in our City. I was aghast to read this morning that more resources were to be cut by this Conservative Government from West Midlands Police Budgets.

Did you know that only yesterday this Government was in a shambles over West Midlands Police Funding…?  Here is what the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner said today….

!cid_image001_png@01D0C3F7 PolicePolice Commissioner David Jamieson has hit out at the “farce” of an additional £37 million the Government promised the West Midlands force, which has been delayed for a year after civil servants based the payment on the wrong data.

Three weeks ago all forces in England and Wales were given the results of a Home Office review of the funding formula used to work out police funding. The good news for Mr Jamieson was that the West Midlands would be handed a significant increase in funding.

But yesterday Policing Minister Mike Penning apologised to the House of Commons and said he would delay the new national funding formula for a year after conceding that the “wrong figures” were used when working out the payments.

He had already faced the threat of legal action from police commissioners in parts of the country where the new formula would result in sharp cuts in grant.

The highly embarrassing admission was seized upon by shadow police minister Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, who accused Mr Penning of presiding over an “omnishambles”.

I am in great sympathy for those men & women who are now facing a loss of jobs. We are during  the next two weeks going to be informed of even more financial cut backs as the Government release information on their spending review they are now undertaking. I fear that we will see crime starting to increase, if we lose PCSO’s and Constables. That is my big fear!

Please write to me on email@philbateman.com or leave a comment if you too feel concerned about the ability of our thin Blue Line to police our communities effectively!

Now read what the Deputy Chief Constable has written to me today saying –

Tuesday 10 November 2015

As you are aware, in July the force announced a wholesale review of neighbourhood policing including the role of PCSOs.

The review was part of wider plans to help the force improve service while navigating huge savings in excess of £130m that it has to make over the next five years. From the outset of the local policing review we were very clear that we anticipated we would have to significantly reduce the numbers of people including PCSOs employed by the force.

This is a hugely regrettable but unavoidable set of proposals as we need to do all we can to ensure we are sustainable from 2020 and beyond. With over 80 per cent of operating costs coming from pay budgets the organisation is facing further workforce reductions in the region of 2,500 over the next five years – making it smaller

than when it was formed in 1974.

We are now at the end of that review and under current proposals we will reduce the number of PCSOs employed by the force. The new local policing model proposes reducing the number of PCSOs down to 119 by 2020. The timescales for the reductions are yet to be determined but they are likely to be implemented in a phased approach.

During the first phase, the proposed reduction is expected to be a minimum of 325 posts over the next 12 months. The force is now entering into a formal consultation period with trade unions and staff on the proposals.

This is the first time the force has carried out a wholesale review of PCSOs in terms of their role, numbers and deployment since their inception – unlike other areas of the force.

Please be reassured that I will do all I can to ensure neighbourhood policing continues to be at the forefront of everything we do. The recent review has also put forward proposals for a new local policing model that will continue to connect with communities and deliver a strong neighbourhood service. New teams will look to work closely with neighbourhoods sorting out problems while helping communities put safeguarding measures in place.

The proposed changes have been agreed in principle and now work will begin to flesh out the detail and to fully design the new working model.ties, protecting them from harm Find us on:

www.west-midlands.police.uk

Attached with this letter is an overview of how we are getting ready for 2020 that I hope you will

find interesting. The scale and pace of the proposed changes are dependent on a number of factors including the final financial settlement due in December which could see figures alter again. As this programme of work continues to develop we will continue to update you.

In the meantime if you have any questions please do contact your local LPU commander or

email us at wmp2020@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

Yours faithfully

Deputy Chief Constable

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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