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Committed to having the voices of seldom heard communities heard in West Mercia, the latest assurance and accountability session took place on Wednesday 25 October.

Bringing together Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Temporary Chief Constable Alex Murray, the meeting focused on the views of seldom heard communities and ethnic minorities in West Mercia Police.

As the public’s voice in policing, the PCC sought reassurance that the force is focusing on residents’ concerns. The T/CC explained the importance of ensuring appropriate plans are in place to tackle issues when communities lack trust in the police and by recognising differences, confidence in West Mercia Police will increase.

Conversations followed which focused on body worn video compliance targets. The force offered reassurance that scrutiny is in place around cases of non-compliance and the force is committed to reviewing their targets in line with T/CC aspirations. 

Disproportionality was also covered in the use of strip search in custody. The force explained that further analysis has been completed to better understand the data behind this. The force offered reassurance there is action being taken to overcome this issue, which includes training and raising awareness levels, continued scrutiny of the data and making the strip search process less confrontational.

Following the PCC’s questions on the force’s work to engage with seldom heard communities, the T/CC talked about the positive engagement happening across the three counties as well as ensuring views raised are at the heart of change in policing.

PCC John Campion said: “As PCC, I am committed to ensuring voices of all communities in West Mercia are at the heart of policing.

“It’s clear that some communities feel their views are not heard which impacts the confidence they have in the police.

“This meeting was an opportunity for me to shine a light on their concerns and give the Temporary Chief Constable an opportunity to talk about the work the force is doing to bring about change.

“While I believe the force is on the right path, there’s a lot more that needs to be done. I will continue to use all the powers available to me to ensure the new Chief Constable is supported and challenged on progress to create an environment where all communities can have full confidence in the policing service they receive.”