As the voice of the public in policing, an assurance and accountability session took place on Monday 5 June between Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Chief Constable Pippa Mills.
The latest formal meeting focused on West Mercia Police’s progress to improve positive outcomes for victims, respond quickly to crimes and more.
In 2022/23, West Mercia had the ninth lowest crime rate in the country. The PCC was reassured by the Chief Constable about continued improvements in this financial year with a further reduction in crime, when compared to the same period last year.
The Chief Constable updated the PCC on the proactive work West Mercia Police is leading to ensure victims are put first, with an increase in the number of criminals facing charges for the crimes they commit as well as improving response times to emergency instances.
While response times to 999 calls are improving, the PCC identified an increase in the time it takes to answer 101 calls and its negative impact on public expectations. The Chief Constable assured the PCC that urgent work is taking place to understand issues with the telephony system and address them.
The PCC also sought reassurance on the measures the force has introduced to address the findings from the 2021/22 PEEL report. The report flagged a ‘cause of concern’ calling for changes on how West Mercia Police investigates crime, supervises investigations and updates victims.
In response to this, the force has created an Investigation Quality team, funded by the PCC. Made up of four Sergeants, with a fifth post being filled in Worcester to cover each local policing area, the Investigation Quality team is delivering a comprehensive programme of work to improve the quality of investigations and service to victims of crime, ensuring intervention is meaningful and sustainable.
PCC John Campion said: “As your voice in policing, I am focused on ensuring your police force is delivering on the issues that matter to you. I am reassured that improvements are being made, but I want to see this trend continue at a quicker pace.
“I remain committed to ensuring the Chief Constable has the resources and tools she needs to put victims and survivors first and build a more secure West Mercia, as set out in my Safer West Mercia Plan.”