Express & Star

David Jamieson: Boris Johnson must recruit police officers to 2010 levels

A police chief has challenged Boris Johnson to provide more officers to the region to boost numbers to those at the start of the decade.

David Jamieson wants more police officers

The Prime Minister has pledged to put 20,000 new officers on the streets, with the West Midlands in line to receive around 1,200 of those.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Jamieson said that will not be enough, and will still leave the force 900 officers shy on 2010.

In a letter to the PM, Mr Jamieson called for more funding for extra officers.

He also wants Mr Johnson to put pressure on schools to reduce exclusions, following criticism children being kicked out makes them more likely to turn to crime and gangs, fuelling violent crime.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Labour PCC Mr Jamieson wrote: "One of your key promises during the election was to recruit a further 20,000 police officers across the country. This I welcome.

"My concern however is that there is a danger that a disproportionate number these recruits will be directed to low crime, rural areas of the country such as leafy Surrey and not where they are most needed. I refer of course to urban conurbations such as ours which has been hit hardest from Government cutbacks from 2010 onwards.

"Therefore, with the New Year just hours away, on behalf of the people of the West Midlands, may I press upon you our key demands for a 2020 New Year which highlights our most urgent needs and will thereby enable you to implement and fulfil your key election promises once 2020 arrives.

He continued: "We need the funding to return officer numbers to 2010 levels. West Midlands Police has lost 2,131 officers since 2010, but based on current projections, the force is only expecting to receive funding for around 1,200 officers.

"I am concerned that resources have once again been divided using a blunt and outdated formula that disadvantages areas like the West Midlands and helps leafy, lower crime areas, that have lost fewer officers than forces like ours. I request that officers are allocated based on the crime threat and need of forces, so that areas like the West Midlands can tackle the serious threats we face."

On reducing exclusions, Mr Jamieson said: "This will help prevent excluded children from being driven into violent, drug related county lines. We also seek the ending of the practice of off-rolling students for the purpose of protecting school satisfactory Ofsted reports and inflating examination pass rates which exposes children to harm still further through school exclusion."