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Focusing on West Mercia Police’s performance around key areas such as the 999 service and action being taken to prevent people being killed or seriously injured on West Mercia’s roads, PCC John Campion has held a formal meeting with Temporary Chief Constable (T/CC) Alex Murray.

The PCC sought reassurance that West Mercia Police is delivering a high-quality service from the force that both he and the public expect.

The 999-call handling service was put under the spotlight after an increase in demand earlier this year led to a decrease in performance. At present, 88% of 999 calls in West Mercia are answered in 10 seconds. Although this falls short of the 90% target, the PCC was offered assurance that the 999 service remains an area of focus, with the force exploring options to further improve performance.

To support this work, the PCC also sought assurance on how messaging around 999 response times are being relayed to the public, to ensure residents who are accessing the service are aware of how the force are driving improvements.

Another key area of focus in the meeting was the action the force is taking to ensure that the public remains safe on West Mercia’s roads, which remains a central part of the PCC’s mission to build a Safer West Mercia.

A 32% increase has been seen in fatal casualties in the year 2023/24 when compared to the previous year, however, there is currently no clear trend to explain the increase. For this reason, the force has undertaken additional analysis around this key area of focus,  with a supporting plan to inform how the force  engage with communities on how they can play an active part in making roads safer, as well as outlining the next steps to prevent people being killed or seriously injured on West Mercia’s roads. The PCC will continue to provide investment into enforcement to support the work of the force.

National Policing Priorities were also addressed in the meeting, with the T/CC highlighting the high-quality service that West Mercia Police provides to the communities of West Mercia.

This included the force’s Op Sceptre, which focuses on preventing knife crime across West Mercia, which has demonstrated a reduction in knife-crime related offences. Residential burglary has also seen improvements in terms of action being taken by the police, with the T/CC stating that progress will continue.

Ahead of the upcoming HMICFRS inspection later this year into police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL), the PCC sought assurance that the force is taking the right steps to prepare, including how he can support the force.

PCC John Campion said: “As the voice of the public in policing, a central part of my role is to ensure that the force is delivering a high-quality service to the communities of West Mercia.

“This meeting outlined that there are some impressive outcomes being delivered by West Mercia Police for our communities to ensure they are safe and feel safe, including reducing crime and bringing evermore offenders to justice.”

“However, it’s also clear that in some areas, continued improvement and focus is needed to ensure the public feel confident that their police force will deliver the service they need and deserve. I will continue to support and challenge the Chief Constable to achieve this to build a Safer West Mercia.”