Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore with Chief Constable David Shaw shortly after the election results were announced.
Bill Longmore is the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia
The former police officer will set policing priorities and work with Chief Constable David Shaw to manage the force's £200m budget.
Facing tough savings targets, Mr Longmore said he was "under no illusions" as to the "challenge" he faced as PCC.
He said: "I believe that everyone has good ideas and as a commissioner it's up to me to sort the good ideas out and put them to work for the people.
"When David Cameron said about the office of commissioner he said he wanted to see a man of the people, someone who has done something, and I put myself forward as someone who comes in that category."
A retired businessman from Hanwood, near Shrewsbury, 74-year-old Mr Longmore also spent 30 years working for the Staffordshire force, finishing as a superintendent.
He said the election result showed "people don't really want politics in the police".
Chief Constable David Shaw said he looked forward to "building a positive, professional working relationship with Mr Longmore as we enter an unprecedented period of change, challenge and opportunity".
Bill receiving his BBC Sports Unsung Hero award from Nick Owen for his considerable community work in Hanwood, Shropshire during the last 12 years and previous years in Staffordshire.
Midlands Sports Unsung Hero
In December 2011 Bill won ‘The Midlands Sports Unsung Hero Award’ for encouraging Sport in communities over a number of years. In recognition of his unstinting community work Bill had the honour of being selected to carry the Olympic Torch on part of its route through Shrewsbury.
Bill's life in the police service
Attracted by a newspaper job advertisement for police cadets Bill applied and was successful and at 17 started a two-year in-house course. He completed this in 1957 and became a probationary Police Constable, and his first public appearance as such was in April 1957 when HM Queen Elizabeth visited Brierley Hill.
As a young Police Officer Bill was then transferred to Burton-on-Trent which was quite a shock as he had to live-in digs. However, he did much overtime and played plenty of sport on many excellent grounds owned by the breweries and other companies and the time passed quickly. Over the next seven years he gained much from his colleagues, many of whom had armed forces experience.
After only seven years, Bill was promoted to Sergeant and two years later to Inspector and selected to go to Bramshill Police College for a six-month course for ‘high fliers’. Here he made a name for himself by challenging the views about policing by some of the lecturers and outside speakers. At the end of course dinner speeches he was mentioned as someone who had given the staff and visiting lecturers much to think about.
As a young Inspector Bill returned to Cannock, an area where there was little respect for the Police at that time. He was concerned about the lack of facilities for the youth of the area and set about organising sports and cultural activities to occupy their spare time in the belief that ‘the devil finds work for idle hands'. He initiated and led a huge help and support base which allowed him to organise a series of major five-a-side football competitions. Many of the previously bored youths became members of police-led football teams, developed a sense of belonging to a group, and loyalty to it, which kept them out of trouble. The Police gained respect and there was less crime and anti-social behaviour. Money was raised to build two big BMX tracks and a sponsor was found to finance an indoor track. The success of the ‘Cannock Experiment’ led to it becoming policy for the whole of Staffordshire. For his work within the community he received several awards.
From 1976 until the mid-1980s was a period of strikes and public unrest. The Chief Constable chose Bill to liase with the new Deputy Chief Constable to find a solution as to how the increasing violence and public disorder could be contained. He submitted a report which included recommendations for the establishment of a ‘Support Group’ and a five-week training course for potential members. During 1981 he was on duty at Toxteth, Liverpool where the heavy policing of the local force came under severe strain. He also gained valuable experience when sent to other cities where there was trouble. Thanks to his initiatives several changes were made concerning search techniques, house to house enquiries, firearms training, raids on premises and policy when dealing with widespread disorder.
During the miners’ strike Bill was the Deputy Policing Commander at Cannock and one particular incident demonstrated the value of his many years of patiently cultivating the public’s trust. Local and visiting striking miners decided to try to prevent working miners going into the pit. Officers from another force were keen to move in to deal with the vocal miners but Bill had a different approach. Some 30 striking miners lay down in the road. He explained that they were breaking the law by causing an obstruction and gave them 10 seconds to move or be arrested. They did not move, the police moved in and arrested them without any violence. When they appeared in court, asked how they pleaded, their spokesman said, “We are all guilty. Mr. Longmore gave us our chance to move and we didn’t, so we are all guilty”. Each miner was fined a small amount.
On the completion of 30 years’ service Bill decided to retire, explaining to the Chief Constable who questioned his decision, that he felt that the changes coming would see the Police Service altering in such a way that it would have to be run like a limited company and he felt that this would ultimately have a detrimental effect on the Police Service.