Council tax rise plan 'will get police on streets'

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 07/02 10:28

PLANS to put 100 more police officers on to the region's streets by raising council tax have been laid out.

Police commissioner Bob Jones set out his policing budget and objectives for the coming year at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday).

The policing aspect of council tax would rise to over £100 per year for an average Band D property - the equivalent of an extra 6p a week.

Around 50 police comunity support officer roles would also be created under the plan, with an invitation for 50 new special constables to join the force.

Mr Jones said redeploying civilian staff would also play a role in finding the extra positions.

West Midlands Police faces continued cuts in funding totalling over £130 million over four years.

"In difficult financial circumstances, protecting the services that matter to our communities is key," Mr Jones said before yesterday's meeting in Oldbury.

"The unfair implementation of the national funding formula, coupled to ongoing cuts in central government grant, has for now blocked plans to restart police recruitment and end the compulsory retirement of officers after 30 years’ service.

"That's why I'm planning to use civilian staff to take on roles that don't require warranted police powers, releasing police officers to duties protecting our streets."

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