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The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has echoed calls for improvement in the police response to vulnerable people in county lines drug offending.

A report, issued today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, highlighted improvements which could include tighter restrictions for pay-as-you-go phones to prevent criminal activity.

The Commissioner, John Campion has taken a relentless approach to tackling county lines, with targeted drugs and serious organised crime strategies already in place.

He said: “The recommendations in the report are reflective of the approaches that have already been taken in West Mercia: focusing across borders, information sharing and working with partners.

“Tackling drug dealing is made all the more difficult with the prolific use of unregistered pay-as-you-go phones. Tighter restrictions would lessen demand on police and ultimately allow them more time to prioritise vulnerable victims.

“As Commissioner, I’ve made a number of investments, particularly around drug intervention schemes, but we also need to support the police with the right powers to tackle the problem, which causes so much harm, at the root. I’ve also invested in policing, with a significant uplift in officers. Whilst there are areas to improve, I will continue to hold the force to account so this can be achieved.”


Issued on Friday 10th January 2020