POLICING in Solihull could be moving back into the hands of local people.
Speaking at a BID meeting last week, West Midlands Police Crime Commissioner Bob Jones said he wanted to move away from a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ for the region, to creating community-led local policing boards.
“We have to work on a more local level,” said the Wolverhampton councillor. “We would look to have a Solihull policing plan set by the local Solihull community.
“I don’t like the idea of handing down stone tablets about what the priorities should be. I think we need a bottom-up approach to policing.
“People tend to associate with the area they live, in my case it’s Wolverhampton, for the people of Solihull it will be Solihull. This is why I want to work closely with our partners here.
“I’m willing to passport the budget back, as long as the communities are ready and willing.”
With powers over their owns budgets and policing priorities, Coun Jones hopes to have boards in place for Solihull, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall, by April.
Solihull Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner said the proposals would build directly on what was already at the heart of local policing; local people: “Local people influencing local policing is absolutely spot on,” she said.
Coun Jones also plans to employ more office staff, releasing 100 officers onto the streets, as well as recruiting another 50 Police Community Support Officers and 50 new Special Constables.
A three per cent increase in council tax precept, from £99 to £102, has also been announced.