BUDGET '99: Warning over Pounds 170m Windfall; CRIME PREVENTION

By Howarth, Jayne | The Birmingham Post (England), March 10, 1999 | Go to article overview

BUDGET '99: Warning over Pounds 170m Windfall; CRIME PREVENTION


Howarth, Jayne, The Birmingham Post (England)


An extra pounds 170 million for crime prevention measures which was announced yesterday received a cautious welcome last night.

The cash will be channelled into schemes to install closed circuit television cameras and improve council estates in the most crime-ridden areas.

The funds will be administered over the next three years by the Home Office and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Coun Tom Meir (Lab Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme), chairman of the Staffordshire Police Authority, said although he welcomed the cash injection for CCTV schemes, he hoped it was not at the expense of police service budgets which were already being squeezed.

Forces up and down the country are facing stringent budget cuts over the next two years as the Government demands "Best Value". In Warwickshire, for example, the force is having to find pounds 4.3 million savings out of a pounds 54 million budget.

Neighbouring West Mercia, which covers Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, is having to consider up to 30 job cuts as it struggles to cope with a pounds 4 million budget cut.

"I hope the pounds 170 million isn't a transfer from one budget into another one. …

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