Police face £26m more cuts as government confirms funding

By Matthew Bates Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 20/12 12:37

CUTS of around £25million will be made at West Midlands Police next year - over £1m more than expected.

Home secretary Theresa May announced government funding levels for the service last week.

The force has already cut £24m from its budget this year and commissioner Bob Jones branded the decision extremely disappointing.

He had been looking for a shift in grant damping rules which currently mean the region is penalised despite it having demands and needs.

Mr Jones said the decision to keep damping in place was 'grossly unfair'.

And he added it was still his intention to explore ways to get more officers on the streets by recruiting special constables and freeing up police officers from room posts.

"Hopefully this will create job opportunities for police staff who would otherwise be faced with redundancy," he said.

"I also want to review the contentious issue of forcing police officers to retire when they have completed thirty years’ service, but the financial settlement means it will probably have to be deferred to beyond the next financial year.

"The overall financial picture remains extremely challenging. I am now having urgent meetings with the Chief Constable Chris Sims and senior officers to prepare a budget and precept for 2013/14 to present to the Police and Crime Panel on 21 January 2013."

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