Last month, the regular national crime statistics were released. The statistics showed an increase in crime, both locally and nationally, I understand that this causes concern.
West Midlands Police have seen a similar rise in total recorded crime to the rest of the country.
Since my election in 2014, I have been consistently campaigning for long term funding solutions for the police. These recent statistics will help the Government focus on where funding should be allocated.
The increase in crime across the West Midlands has been well-documented in the media and I continue to have concerns about the rise in violent youth crime. That is why I am investing £2 million to tackle the root causes of violent crime and to divert young people away from criminality.
The Government have also confirmed that West Midlands Police will be given a one-off payment of £7.6 million to boost police resources this year, in a bid to tackle violent crime.
This additional stop-gap funding is welcome and will support a greater police presence on our streets. However it will not help us to recruit a single extra officer as the funding is for one year only.
Despite being recognised by independent inspectors as a highly efficient force, West Midlands Police have lost over 2,000 officers and £175 million since 2010, meaning we are having to do more with less.
I am now calling on the Government to identify long-term funding solutions for policing.
By driving further efficiencies and making cost savings I have been able to deliver more officers for West Midlands Police. Recruitment for 200 additional police officers will begin later this year and will be focussing on working closely with local communities and tackling violent crime.
I am currently working with Chief Constable Dave Thompson to ensure each area in the West Midlands, including Solihull, has its fair share of additional officers.
We are determined to get on with the job of keeping the people of the West Midlands safe and we are taking tough action. With more resources from the Government and more officers we could do much more.
PCC David Jamieson