Changes to West Midlands Policing
See below for a letter from Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson and further information pertaining to changes to policing in the West Midlands:
As you are aware, in July the force announced a wholesale review of neighbourhood policing
including the role of PCSOs. The review was part of wider plans to help the force improve service while navigating huge savings in excess of £130m that it has to make over the next five years.
From the outset of the local policing review we were very clear that we anticipated we would have to significantly reduce the numbers of people including PCSOs employed by the force. This is a hugely regrettable but unavoidable set of proposals as we need to do all we can to ensure we are sustainable from 2020 and beyond.
With over 80 per cent of operating costs coming from pay budgets the organisation is facing further workforce reductions in the region of 2,500 over the next five years – making it smaller than when it was formed in 1974.
We are now at the end of that review and under current proposals we will reduce the number of PCSOs employed by the force. The new local policing model proposes reducing the number of PCSOs down to 119 by 2020. The timescales for the reductions are yet to be determined but they are likely to be implemented in a phased approach.
During the first phase, the proposed reduction is expected to be a minimum of 325 posts over the next 12 months. The force is now entering into a formal consultation period with trade unions and staff on the proposals. This is the first time the force has carried out a wholesale review of PCSOs in terms of their role, numbers and deployment since their inception – unlike other areas of the force.
Please be reassured that I will do all I can to ensure neighbourhood policing continues to be at the forefront of everything we do. The recent review has also put forward proposals for a new local policing model that will continue to connect with communities and deliver a strong neighbourhood service.
New teams will look to work closely with neighbourhoods sorting out problems while helping communities put safeguarding measures in place. The proposed changes have been agreed in principle and now work will begin to flesh out the detail and to fully design the new working model.
Attached with this letter is an overview of how we are getting ready for 2020 that I hope you will find interesting. The scale and pace of the proposed changes are dependent on a number of factors including the final financial settlement due in December which could see figures alter again.
In the meantime if you have any questions please do contact your local LPU commander or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Chief Constable