Coventry Conservatives have welcomed news that West Midlands Police will receive a funding increase of up to £39.4m next year. The announcement comes as police forces across the country are set to receive a 7 per cent increase in funding in 2022-23, bringing the total amount to £16.9 billion.
The increase will help to deliver on the Government’s Beating Crime Plan, which focuses on ending neighbourhood crime, making our streets safer, and driving down homicide rates. The boost will see Police and Crime Commissioners given an additional £796 million to use according to local needs, while Counter Terrorism policing has surpassed £1 billion for the first time.
Recent figures show that the Beating Crime Plan is already having a significant effect in taking dangerous offenders off our streets. Over 1,500 county drugs lines have been closed since 2019, with over 7,400 arrests and £4.3 million in drug seized. Almost 16,000 knives and dangerous weapons have also been removed, while 300,000 at risk young people have been supported through Violence Reduction Units.
The funding will further support the creation of a National Crime Laboratory – to drive the use of innovative data science in preventing crime – as well as improving 999 response times, investing in law enforcement intelligence, and upgrading critical IT infrastructure.
Commenting on the announcement Cllr Julia Lepoidevin, Shadow Cabinet Member for Policing and equalities at the city Council said: “From working with our local police force, I know just how valuable increased funding is in supporting our police to crack down on crime. That is why I welcome the increase of up to £39.4m for West Midlands Police. It brings the total funding for our local police force up to £694.9m for 2022-23 and will support our police as they build on the fantastic work carried out so far – removing dangerous weapons from our streets and ending the scourge of drugs in our communities.”
Cllr Gary Ridley the Leader of the Conservative Group at Coventry City Council said: “Nationally, we’ve got an additional 11,053 police officers on our streets, 1,500 drugs lines, which exploit the young and the vulnerable, have been shut down nationally. But we must go further and faster to make our communities even safer. So, I welcome this extra funding for West Midlands Police but it’s vital that Coventry gets its share. This money can’t simply be squandered by the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner in Birmingham. So we’ll be keeping a close eye on them to ensure it does."