Recruiting more Police Officers is a top priority - New Year’s message from the West Midlands PCC
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has
issued a New Year's message as he looks forward to 2016 and
reflects on the challenges and successes of a busy 2015. Amongst
the Commissioner's top priorities is recruiting Police Officers. By
the end of the next financial year he is committed to delivering on
his promise of recruiting 450 new officers.
New Year's message from the West Midlands Police and Crime
Commissioner David Jamieson:
2015 has been a very busy year for policing in the West Midlands
and 2016 will be equally as challenging, but I am confident in West
Midlands Police's ability to meet those challenges.
Over the last year I have met thousands of people, attended
hundreds of engagements and visited every corner of the West
West Midlands Police have dealt with numerous far right rallies,
supported the national response to terrorism and continued to
respond to other threats such as gun crime and knife crime. The
reform of stop and search has been accelerated and
disproportionality has been reduced dramatically - I want that
reform to continue in future.
Whilst dealing with these important issues government funding
has never been far from the agenda. Over the last five years we
have faced around £130million cuts - the biggest of any force in
the country. Following a concerted effort, we forced the government
to think again on funding. The cuts that we will face in future
have reduced, but unfortunately not been eliminated.
We will still be doing more with less money. Driving
efficiencies is therefore crucial so I can make sure that I am
providing the Chief Constable with the resources he needs to keep
the people of the West Midlands safe.
As a result of the efficiencies we have driven, HMIC (Her
Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary) rated West Midlands Police
as one of only five 'outstanding' forces. I am proud of that
recognition, but even prouder of what that means we are able to do
as a result. Because of the difficult decisions we have taken and
efficiencies we are driving in areas like estates there will be no
compulsory redundancies of PCSOs.
2016 will again be a tough year, but I am confident that we can
meet the challenges ahead. I am committed to recruiting Police
Officers and deliver on the promise of recruiting 450 more officers
by the end of the next financial year. To support the public's
priorities of recruiting Police Officers and protecting PCSOs from
redundancy, efficiencies will have to continue in other areas.
Other priorities for me in 2016 are working with the force to
tackle gun and knife crime. The number of offences are much lower
than they were a decade ago, but we cannot let-up in our pursuit of
people who carry and trade illegal weapons.
Crime is changing not falling. West Midlands Police will have to
continue to change to reflect that. Emerging threats such as
cyber-crime and hidden crimes such as child sexual exploitation
require us to work smarter and more collaboratively to keep the
public safe. I will be holding the force to account to make sure
that we are responding fully to those threats.
Partnership working is more important than ever and I look
forward to strengthening our ties with local authorities,
businesses and the third sector in the next year.
I would also like to pay tribute to Chris Sims who has been an
outstanding Chief Constable over the last six years and look
forward to working closely with David Thompson who will begin the
role in January.
On a final note, I would like to thank all of our excellent
officers and PCSOs for their hard work, dedication and courage. I
would also like to pay tribute to our police staff without whom we
would not be able to fight crime and keep the West Midlands