My thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Dalian Atkinson who, during what will have been an unimaginably difficult time, have held their grief with dignity and fortitude. Whilst I can never possibly fully understand what they have gone through, and are still going through, I know that no matter the outcome of this trial, it would never take away their loss of Dalian.
As Police and Crime Commissioner I am deeply concerned that a serving West Mercia police officer has committed manslaughter. The standard of behaviour and actions expected of police officers by our community is rightly high. It is extremely worrying that someone trusted to uphold our laws has fallen so far short and I recognise our community will share those concerns.
As Commissioner, as the public’s voice in policing, my priority is clear – to ensure the public can have trust and confidence in their police force and the actions of its officers.
Where that trust breaks down I will play my part to ensure it is rebuilt.
I am clear that the end of the trial cannot just draw a line under this matter. I will ensure that the lessons for West Mercia Police are fully understood from the events on 15th August 2016 and I will robustly hold them to account for taking whatever action is required.
I will also play my part in supporting and challenging West Mercia Police in working with the communities across Telford, and the rest of the force area, ensuring the needs of the community are understood and their concerns are acted upon.
I will continue to work hard to ensure that the community is at the heart of policing in West Mercia.”
To read the statement from West Mercia Police, visit the website.