04:09 GMT +314 October 2019
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    British police officers stand on duty during Europe's largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival in London, UK

    Police Funding Boost UK Gov't Proud of Nothing More Than 'Disappointing' Pay-Off

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    British Home Office on Thursday announced "the largest increase in police funding since 2010." However, according to West Midlands Police, the cash boost by the government was merely a "settlement that falls a long way short of what" they needed.

    UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the funding increase of £970 million would help local police forces, countering terrorism and tackling serious and organised crime.

    "It will enable the police to recruit more officers and be better placed to respond to the increasingly complex crimes they face," Javid said in a statement.

    The West Midlands police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson, said his force received much less funding than the needed £25.6 million, while the government promised to invest only £15.9m.

    "West Midlands Police has faced cuts of £175m since 2010, leading to over 2,000 police officers being lost during that period. Despite warm words over the last few months, this is once again a disappointing settlement that falls a long way short of what West Midlands police needed from the government. This government funding does not come anywhere near to covering what the force requires just to stand still. £25.6m is needed to cover extra pension costs, government-set pay increases and rising fuel costs this year," Commissioner Jamieson argued.

    The government are piling the pressure on council taxpayers, according to West Midlands Police. While crime levels are rising and the pressure on the police force is mounting, the Home Office "has made it clear it expects Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to increase council tax," the police argued.

    "At a time when living standards are being squeezed and our economic future is increasingly uncertain, the government has made it clear it expects PCCs to increase council tax. The government is shifting the burden of police funding onto local council tax payers, which will disproportionately help the wealthier, low crime areas such as Surrey who have a much bigger ability to raise council tax than the West Midlands."

    London mayor Said Khan has also reacted to the government's funding announcement, warning "Londoners will be furious."

    "The additional funding represents a tiny fraction of the huge government cuts to the Met Police since 2010 and will mean the number of police officers in London will continue to fall over the years ahead."

    A decade of austerity, enforced by the government following the global financial crash of 2008, has led to massive public cuts to police funding. The "immense impact of austerity" has been often criticised for leading to increased levels of crime, including knife attacks and street gang violence.

    A November report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee revealed that funding for police forces was down by nearly a fifth since 2010-11 and there are nearly a fifth fewer officers and staff.

    READ MORE: UK Suffers From Violence, Sex Crime as Cuts to Police Funding Continue to Bite


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