Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey has called for the West Midlands to get a fairer share of police spending at Dudley Police Station.
He will be joined by Dudley North Labour candidate Ian Austin and Dudley South Labour candidate Natasha Millward to highlight spending cuts to West Midlands Police that are set to result in the loss of 2,500 police officers.
Jack Dromey will join campaigners at Dudley Police Station at 11am on Tuesday 31st March.
West Midlands Police announced in November that Dudley Police Station would be one of twenty seven across the region that are set to have their front offices closed to the public within 12 months. The closure would make Dudley the largest town in the country without a police station open to the public.
Ian Austin has led a campaign against the closure and launched a petition signed by more than 2,200 local residents. Dudley Police Station has now been excluded from the latest list of closures with police representatives saying that they are listening “very carefully” to the concerns of campaigners.
A cross-party group of West Midlands MPs including Ian Austin and Jack Dromey has now written to the Home Secretary asking her to reconsider the national funding formula and ensure the West Midlands gets a fairer share of police funding.
The way the Government distributes police funding means the West Midlands receives a comparatively smaller share than other forces, despite higher levels of crime. The region has the second lowest council tax precept in the country which means it relies on central government funds more than other forces and a flat-rate national cut hits the West Midlands harder than elsewhere. As a result West Midlands Police is losing almost a quarter of its budget, while Surrey will see its budget fall by 12%.
Government spending cuts and the unfair distribution of funds are forcing West Midlands Police to axe 2,500 more officers in the next four years to save an extra £100 million – on top of the £126 million lost over the last five years.
Ian Austin said:
“We all know savings have to be made, but the government has cut spending too quickly and too deeply, and failing to introduce a fairer funding system is costing the West Midlands millions. Police officers are losing their jobs, police stations have closed and Dudley Police Station is still at risk.
“Local people want more police on the streets, more offenders brought before court and more criminals put in jail, so I’m fighting for the West Midlands to get a fairer share of police funding.
"I am the only local candidate campaigning to keep our station open with the backing of 2,200 local residents. Our campaign has kept the station open so far and I'll be stepping up my efforts to make sure it stays open for good."