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Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is to seek assurance that West Mercia Police has delivered an effective service to domestic abuse victims during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the PCC’s regular Holding to Account sessions with Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, the PCC will ask for reassurance that the police’s domestic abuse response is as good as it can be, and that where improvements are needed, a robust plan for implementation is in place.

Worryingly, domestic abuse makes up a quarter of all reported crime across West Mercia, and this is mirrored across the rest of the UK. Despite reports of domestic abuse to the police remaining largely static over last year (compared to the previous year) advice sought from organisations like West Mercia Women’s Aid have increased. This may be due to victims being unable to report incidences to the police, at a time when, during national lockdown, they have no option but to remain in homes with abusive partners.

PCC John Campion said, “We have seen a worrying increase in people seeking advice and support from organisations like West Mercia Women’s Aid. This is an indication that incidences of domestic abuse have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I will be seeking reassurance from the force that they are delivering the right service to domestic abuse victims. This means calls being handled correctly, officers having the correct training in place to offer the best support, and that accurate information is being captured to provide the best intelligence.

“It is my job as commissioner to make sure the voice of our communities is heard and represented at the highest level of policing, and to make sure that the investment I have made in services is producing the right outcomes for the public.”

You can view the minutes and actions for West Mercia Police arising from the Holding to Account sessions on the PCC’s website: https://www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/monitoring-your-police-force/

Published Thursday 25th February 2021