The Commissioner is committed to supporting active citizenship as part of his aim to build stronger more united communities.
As well as listening to community issues, priorities and concerns, the PCC is keen to also give more opportunities for communities to create and implement their own improvements and solutions, with the police in a supporting role where necessary. PCC grant funding is enabling thousands of volunteering hours this year alone.
The Commissioner will help ensure resources and support are available for projects that support the objectives within his Safer West Mercia Plan. A huge number of good projects are already going on in communities across the West Mercia area. Some of them are listed below. Click the links for more information on how you can get involved where you live.
While many people will be familiar with Neighbourhood Watch, there are also numerous other ‘Watch’ schemes now operating right around West Mercia, where communities are taking an active part in crime prevention and keeping people, property and even animals safe.
Some of these schemes are led by the community with police support – such as Pub Watch or Horse Watch. Others are led by the police with community support, including Rural Watch, Business Watch and Boat Watch.
Neighbourhood Watch remains the biggest local Watch scheme. It is an independent organisation which is supported by the police and other partners. There are a huge number of schemes operating in all of our cities, towns and villages at a very local level.
West Mercia is also seeing a growing number of community speed watch groups, to address local concerns about speeding – particularly in rural areas. These are supported by the police. For more information visit the Safer Roads Partnership website.
To find out how to get involved in any of the Watch schemes mentioned here, click the links above.
West Mercia Police: Specials, volunteers, cadets and academies
The police force offers a number of ways to help and engage with local communities.
Special Constables play a vital role in helping to reinforce front line policing and the force has introduced a new streamlined recruitment process to get new volunteers trained and in post much faster. Along with the Special Constabulary, the police also offer a range of different volunteering opportunities including working with safer neighbourhood teams or the forensics department.
West Mercia’s Police Cadets scheme has been a great success and is entirely funded by the PCC. It is open across the force area to 16 year olds and the programme lasts two years. Cadets learn discipline, friendship and new skills. A number of previous cadets have also gone on to become full police officers while many more have gone into other careers within public service.
New Citizens’ Academy courses are now operating across the force area. These are ten week interactive courses which anyone aged 18 or over can enrol on to learn about their local police force, policing in general and other areas such as the PCC or the fire service.
There are numerous groups across the West Mercia area specifically working in and around the voluntary sector. Their specific individual roles vary, but all are focused on the invaluable contributions that volunteers make every day in our communities. To see some of the voluntary opportunities available or find out more about some of the work done locally click the links below. The Commissioner also runs an Independent Custody Visitor programme, details for which are available here.
- Herefordshire voluntary organisations support service (HVOSS)
- Telford and Wrekin volunteer centre
- Shropshire Voluntary & Community Sector Assembly
- Worcester Volunteer Centre
- Do It – volunteering website
Sport can play an invaluable role in safer, stronger communities. Whether that is as a diversionary activity, learning discipline or helping with community cohesion. The Commissioner works with a number of partners to realise the potential sport has to help create a Safer West Mercia.
Two key partners who deliver many local projects are Energize sports partnership for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire.