Accessibility Settings Skip to main content

West Mercia has followed the national picture with a sharp rise in the amount of retail crime being committed in our town centres. Just one example of this is the significant increase in shoplifting, going up by 13% over the past six months.

Businesses form the lifeblood of local communities, and I regularly speak to business owners, retail workers and shoppers about the damage retail crime is having on livelihoods and feelings of safety.

As Police and Crime Commissioner, I remain fully focused on keeping all communities safe and ensuring West Mercia Police has the resources and tools it needs to address the public’s priorities.

I share the concerns you have raised in the ACS crime report, and it’s right to acknowledge the harm caused to shopworkers who are too often subject to horrific verbal and physical abuse.

In February, I raised the concerns of local shopworkers with the Chief Constable. He reassured me that West Mercia Police shares my no tolerance commitment.

Over the past twelve months hundreds of Civil Interventions have been made, and it’s important the force does evermore to respond quickly and effectively to reports whilst supporting victims to cope and recover.

Alongside my role to support and challenge the Chief Constable, I have made significant resources available to introduce ten dedicated town centre policing teams.

These new teams, made up of police officers and PCSOs, will be visible and accessible in the heart of the community, fully focused on driving down retail crime and anti-social behaviour by bringing offenders to justice.

Additionally, I fund five Rural and Business Officers (RABO). Through ‘Your Business Matters’, they work in partnership with retailers in their area offering crime prevention and security advice.

To ensure progress continues to be made, I have received assurance from the Chief Constable that the recommendations set out in the National Retail Crime Plan are being carried out locally, alongside an effective prolific offender strategy which targets repeat offenders who cause the most harm.

As I look to the future, I will continue to ensure tackling retail crime remains a top priority with it set to be a main feature within my new police and crime plan – setting the blueprint for policing in West Mercia over the next four years.

It is also important to highlight the role Business Improvement District (BIDs), local authorities and other partners play.

I remain committed to creating an environment where cross-partner relationships flourish, alongside local policing, with the joint mission to drive down crime, protect businesses, and take offenders off our streets.

Yours sincerely,

John Campion

Police and Crime Commissioner

West Mercia