Pledge to protect frontline policing in face of £5m budget cut

Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball has pledged to protect frontline policing in the county despite next year’s budget being £5m less than this year’s.

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball

He said: “Policing budgets are continuing to be squeezed. I have been analysing the effects of the reductions in next year’s budget and how that will impact on policing in Warwickshire.

“Thanks to the foundations laid in my first budget last year, prudent management by the Police Authority in previous years, and our strategic alliance with West Mercia, I am proposing a plan which will provide reassurance to the people of Warwickshire despite the budget next year being £5m less than this year.”

He is proposing to:

• Bring forward officer recruitment to ensure that numbers are maintained across the force and are not affected by any retirements.

• Maintain 100 Police and Community Support Officers – 24 more than planned in the original alliance blueprint.

• Increase the number of Special Constable from 262 to 314 – giving Warwickshire the highest proportion of Special Constables in the country.

• Allocate £800,000 to community safety, some of which will go to schemes administered by Warwickshire County Council.

• A repeat of the innovation initiative run last year with £300,000 from the £800,000 mentioned above available for groups with innovative bids in the community safety area.

• A commitment to Operation X, targeting the county’s most determined criminals.

• £1.5m across the alliance to target Cyber Crime, Rural Crime and Business Crime.

Mr Ball said: “I am delighted in announcing this budget to also be welcoming 20 new Police Officers to Warwickshire tomorrow, part of my ongoing commitment to frontline policing.

“Frontline policing is what the public have told us they want – I’m committed to our Police Officers, our Safer Neighbourhood Teams, PCSOs, Special Constables, and Community Safety Ambassadors.

“This budgeting is made possible for the reasons I have already mentioned, the prudent budgeting in previous years and the alliance, and I intend to be equally prudent and because of this I am giving serious consideration to raising the police precept by 2 per cent.

“The consultation on this gets underway today and runs until January 31. For a 1p per day contribution from a Band D household Warwickshire Police will receive £4m over a five year period.”

The budget consultation gets underway today and runs until January 31.

Any comments can be made by emailing opcc@warwickshire.gov.uk or by post to Warwickshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, 3 Northgate Street, Warwick, CV34 4SP.

See the full budget consultation here:

Warwickshire budget consultation 2014-15

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