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As the voice of the public in policing, a record number of town and parish councils have had their say on policing through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s bespoke survey. 182 councils in total, an increase of 30% from last year, submitted their views on West Mercia Police.

In Herefordshire, 59% of respondents believe West Mercia Police are doing a fair job.

Other results from respondents included:

  • 14% believe West Mercia Police are doing an excellent/good job.
  • Three-quarters (75%) rate the visibility of police as poor/very poor. This a significantly higher proportion than the West Mercia average of 60%.
  • Less than half (39%) state that they believe West Mercia Police is working well with councils to identify and address local crime and disorder issues.
  • 61% did explain the level of contact with West Mercia Police was good/fair which is higher than the average for the force area at 33%.
  • 21% of respondents believe that anti-social behaviour is a problem, with road safety (31%) being one of the biggest problems in the area, alongside rural crime (35%).

PCC John Campion said: “As PCC, my pledge is clear to ensure everyone from all corners of our communities has a voice, and it’s heard at the highest level in policing. This survey allows me to understand the concerns of communities across West Mercia, and I will ensure they are acted upon.

“It’s concerning to see that a small percentage of respondents believe West Mercia Police is doing a good job and furthermore, that the majority don’t believe the visibility of police officers is what they or I expect. I want the community to feel the benefits of the investment I have made to provide West Mercia Police with a record number of officers, who are delivering on my commitment to build a Safer West Mercia.

“It is encouraging to see that those who have had contact with West Mercia Police, however, believe it was a good/fair experience. I understand it could always be better and that more does need to be done to offer residents the reassurance they need that they are safe and that the police are listening to their concerns.”

Superintendent Helen Wain, the Herefordshire LPA commander, said: “I’m pleased to see that the majority of Herefordshire’s parish councils report a good level of contact with West Mercia Police.

“My local Safer Neighbourhood Teams work hard to understand and tackle local priorities, supported by other teams around issues such as rural crime and road safety.

“We have room to improve in respect of residents’ views on police visibility, and I will ensure that this is a focus moving forwards.”

You can read the 2023 Town and Parish Council Survey in full here.