Travel bans, no fans – police lose out on operations money

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Credit – Ethan Wilkinson on Unsplash

One of West Midlands Police’s lesser-known income streams has been impacted by COVID-19.

WMP make extra money for their budget from policing Birmingham Airport, and sports events like football matches.

Travel bans have led to fewer people using the airport – and less need for policing. No fans at football matches means less need for law enforcement there, too.

Some officers have been redeployed on public duty as a result.

How much money is involved?

In a report from November 2020, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office published a table of losses caused by COVID.

A portion of a table showing WMP’s losses that can be attributed to COVID-19. Credit – West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

The amounts are relatively small, compared to the operational costs of the police – the government will give West Midlands Police £528 million over the next year.

The Police and Crime Commissioners Office estimate that the force has lost out on nearly £3 million from what they expected to receive from operational income, from January to November 2020.

The former Assistant Chief Constable who wrote the report, Claire Bell, says these losses “principally relate to Birmingham Airport, roads policing, events policing (football) and from the Criminal Justice processes.”

How has this impacted police finances?

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is currently projecting a £14.3 million shortfall in funding for the next year, compared to the budget the police want to spend.

The losses of this income stream is small compared to the entire police budget, but it does leave the police out of pocket.

West Midlands Police plan to make up the shortfall over the next year by using asset closures and sales, and by using their £50+ million reserve fund.


To read more about West Midlands Police’s projected shortfall of £14.3 million over the next year, click here.

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A journalist for Birmingham Eastside. Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism MA.

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