Letter From Chief Constable Police & Crime Commissioner

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West Midlands Police attending Neighbourhood events



Date: Tuesday 28 July 2015

Dear KIN member

Neighbourhood policing review underway

As you will be aware we have, through our WMP2020 change programme, been considering

how the force will need to look over the next five years against a financial austerity backdrop of

having to make anticipated savings of around £130 million.

With over 80 per cent of operating costs coming from pay budgets the force is expecting to

have to face further job losses in the region of 2,500 over the next five years – making the

organisation smaller than when it was formed in 1974. By 2020 WMP will have reduced by

almost 45 per cent over a decade.

The final financial budget for the force is due in the autumn but planning is advanced through

the WMP2020 programme.

Both the Police and Crime Commissioner and I are confident policing will continue to protect

the public but how services may look and be delivered will have to alter – both to respond to

the financial challenges and growing threats like child sexual exploitation and online crime.

An early phase of the WMP2020 work stream, due to report back in October, is looking at how

calls will be responded to and investigated and how neighbourhood policing will continue to be


A key feature of this will include the role of police community support officers (PCSOs).

For the force to be able to continue to protect the public by 2020 there will need to be a critical

mass of warranted police officers to deal with the full range of policing challenges across the

West Midlands.

At the same time there will be a limit as to how far critical areas of policing such as call handling

and forensics managed by police staff can be reduced without impacting on safety or the ability

to investigate crimes.

As a result of these pressures PCSO numbers could, unfortunately, reduce at a faster rate than

the reductions in officers and other staff over the next five years.

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.

The WMP2020 change programme and Blueprint is about building an effective and affordable

force for the year 2020.

Serving our communities, protecting them from harm Find us on:


The autumn won’t see a suddenly different force but we will be able to outline our proposals for

changing the delivery of local policing.

We haven’t finalised our eventual numbers of PCSOs but it is clear there will need to be a

significant reduction in the numbers between now and 2020.

We will be working hard to ensure this is managed in a way that does not diminish the delivery

of a policing style that is firmly connected to the communities we serve.

We know many PCSOs are highly valued by the public and colleagues. We will, as we have with

all our staff, do all we can to find other roles for them in the force and will be looking at how we

can ensure they are able to apply for police officer posts as we recruit.

As soon as we are in a position to let you know what our future model for local policing looks

like I will let you know. We anticipate we should be able to do this in the autumn.

In the meantime if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact your local commander.

Kind regards

Chris Sims David Jamieson

Chief Constable Police and Crime Commissioner


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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