Crooks know stretched po­lice can’t catch them


Solihull News - - NEWS - JONATHAN WALKER jon. walker@ reach­plc. com

CRIM­I­NALS know that the po­lice do not have the re­sources to pur­sue them, the Chief Con­sta­ble of West Mid­lands Po­lice has warned.

The ad­mis­sion came as the force faces the prospect of los­ing £ 20 mil­lion from its bud­get, be­cause it has been told by the Gov- ern­ment to in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to em­ployee pen­sions.

Chief Con­sta­ble Dave Thomp­son said the money was the equiv­a­lent of 500 po­lice of­fi­cer jobs.

The Chief Con­sta­ble warned: “There is no ques­tion there will be more ob­vi­ous ra­tioning of ser­vices. The pub­lic can al­ready see it is go­ing on.

“We are al­ready not pur- su­ing crimes where we could find a sus­pect. We are do­ing things now that sur­prise me. We are strug­gling to deliver a ser­vice to the pub­lic. I think crim­i­nals are well aware now how stretched we are.”

And in com­ments to the West Mid­lands Strate­gic Polic­ing and Crime Board, he said that he be­lieved the Trea­sury was de­mand­ing ex­tra pay­ments into the pen­sion scheme be­cause it had got its sums wrong.

He said: “Our view quite sim­ply is that the Trea­sury has worked this out wrong and our en­gage­ment na­tion­ally at the mo­ment is to seek en­gage­ment with the trea­sury to un­der­stand what they are do­ing with po­lice pen­sion scheme. The si­lence has been deaf­en­ing in the last two weeks and we are in­sti­gat­ing more con­ver­sa­tions with the trea­sury on this and we would like a re­sponse back on it.”

Ex­tra costs are be­ing im­posed on the po­lice be­cause the Gov­ern­ment has changed the way it cal­cu­lates how much pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ers are ex­pected to con­trib­ute to some pen­sion schemes.

In the first year the ex­tra cost to the West Mid­lands will be £ 8.6 mil­lion, and by the next fi­nan­cial year the ex­tra an­nual cost to the po­lice will be more than £ 20 mil­lion.

Mr Thomp­son told the Crime Board: “If that was equated to po­lice of­fi­cers it is a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber I think we are ap­proach­ing 500 of­fi­cers clearly our in­ten­tion would not be to try and do that.”

Sara Thorn­ton, chair­man of the Na­tional Po­lice Chiefs’ Coun­cil, has said the changes mean po­lice forces across Eng­land and Wales might need to find an ex­tra £ 417 mil­lion in to­tal by 2020/ 21.

It comes as the Chan­cel­lor, Philip Ham­mond, pre­pares to present his Bud­get state­ment on Oc­to­ber 29.

Mr Ham­mond has come un­der pres­sure to give po­lice more fund­ing af­ter years of cuts.

Home Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid, MP for Broms­grove, and West Mid­lands Mayor Andy Street are both re­ported to have lob­bied the Chan­cel­lor to look again at po­lice bud­gets.

Chief Con­sta­ble Dave Thomp­son

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