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The Police and Crime Commissioner is calling for a better service to victims of anti-social behaviour from West Mercia Police.

An audit into anti-social behaviour reports made to West Mercia Police, found significant gaps where a crime was identified but not recorded or passed to a local policing team to investigate.*  This will be raised as part of a formal holding to account process next month.

Commissioner John Campion said “It’s vital that victims have a voice and that crimes are fully recorded and investigated. This means those affected will get the support they need and everything can be done to bring offenders to justice.

As Commissioner and the voice of the public in policing, I am working closely with the Chief Constable and the force to ensure our communities see improvements. I want the public to feel confident that they will be listened to every time, and that appropriate actions will be taken.”

Supt Damian Pettit said: “Anti-social behaviour is not a single crime but a category on our incident management system and can include a number of individual offences, for example criminal damage and assault.

“If only one element is recorded it could result in one or more being “missed”.

“We identified an issue through our regular internal audit process and have already taken steps to address this.

“To help our call handlers we have issued a revised aide memoire to prompt them to ask more questions when someone reports anti-social behaviour.

“We are also adapting our training for call handlers to highlight this matter, and reviewing our systems to see if there is a better way of recording.

“West Mercia Police puts great importance on crime data integrity and this was reflected in the good grading we were given in our last HMICFRS inspection (though anti-social behaviour was not part of the judgement criteria at that time), and we will continue to do so.”

The audit found:

Between 1st May and 31st August 2021

• 297 ASB reports were assessed, of which
– 143 crimes were identified.
– 83 of these crimes were recorded (58%)
– 60 of these crimes were missed (42%)

Between 1st October and 31st December 2021:

• 220 ASB reports were assessed, of which
– 89 crimes were identified,
– 50 of these crimes were recorded (56%)
– 39 crimes were missed (44%)

(West Mercia Police Quarterly Report- Published January 2022)