A POLICE chief is calling on the government to provide emergency funding for West Midlands Police as energy bills at the force are predicted to rise by more than £5million.
The West Midlands Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Tom McNeil’s call comes as businesses, households and public sector organisations struggle with the soaring costs of gas, electricity and fuel.
According to Tom McNeil’s office in the financial year 2021/22 West Midlands Police’s energy bill stood at £7.2million, whilst this year those costs are predicted to jump to £12.4million.
He said it means the already cash-strapped force needs to consider how it balances its books.
A police officer costs the force just over £50,000 per year, after their salary, pension, national insurance and other costs have been paid.
So £5.2million is the equivalent of approximately 100 police officers.
The eye watering bill comes as gas prices at the force are predicted to jump by nearly £2million, whilst electricity costs could leap by more than £3million and fuel for police vehicles could go up by more than £100,000.
Mr McNeil said: “West Midlands Police is working hard to become the greenest force in the country by investing in electric vehicles and renewable energy supplies, but despite this we can’t shield ourselves from the current energy price rises.
“West Midlands Police is still missing 1,000 officers following government cuts in the years since 2010. Sky high energy bills risk exacerbating that problem further still.”