Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin backs fight for £44 million fair funding for West Midlands Police

Dudley MP Ian Austin is calling on the Government to provide £44 million for the cash-strapped West Midlands Police. 

Austin is backing a Commons vote which would guarantee the funding.

West Midlands Police is not receiving the proportion of funding the Home Office itself states it should receive. Austin, and the region’s 20 Labour MPs, are calling on the government to implement Home Office plans, ensuring the force receives the money it needs.

Leafy areas like Surrey, which has lower crime & risk levels, are currently receiving more funding in relation to their population at the expense of the West Midlands.

If West Midlands Police receives the £44million additional funding it is owed, the force could spend:

·        £25 million to increase police officer numbers by 500 (increasing officer numbers from 6,500 to 7,000 by 2020)

·        £3.5 million to increase PCSO numbers by 100

·        £6.5 million to recruit specialist staff, including financial investigators and cyber specialists

·        £9 million to accelerate the introduction of new technologies to improve the service provided by West Midlands Police, increasing both efficiency and productivity, and to give more flexibility in the estates strategy.

IAN AUSTIN SAID:

“Home Office indicators show that West Midlands Police is underfunded by £44 million. This funding is going to areas with lower threats and less crime like leafy Surrey.

“It just doesn’t make sense and is simply unfair to people in the Black Country who are dealing with rising crime.

“I want to make sure that the West Midlands Police gets the funding it needs to do its job. If the government listens then West Midlands Police could increase officer numbers by 500 and PCSO numbers by 100.

“I want MPs from all parties to get behind this plan to protect West Midlands Police and keep people safe.”

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