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Focused on putting the voice of victims at the heart of policing, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion held an assurance and accountability session with Acting Chief Constable Alex Murray on Thursday 29 June.

In West Mercia, 20% of victims of crime receive support from the Victim Advice Line (VAL) which is funded by the PCC and delivered by West Mercia Police.

Using victim case studies to bring to life their experiences, the PCC acknowledged the good service provided by VAL and the improvements made to link victims in with appropriate support.

Seeking to continue building on this progress, the PCC called for closer working between his office and the force to improve the timeliness of contact with victims and to greater understand where there are gaps in services for victims.

The A/CC welcomed the PCC’s steps to include lived experience and noted the views of users. The force supports carrying out work to improve contact with victims to help them cope and recover and is looking at new ways to increase awareness of the service across West Mercia, and its offer even if a victim hasn’t reported a crime to the police.

A section of the session looked at the force’s policies to ensure victims are receiving an appropriate policing response when contacting the police.

The PCC welcomed the force’s plan of action, focused on safeguarding, and called for continuous monitoring of policies and processes to ensure the police response is putting victims and survivors first.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “As your voice in policing, supporting victims and survivors is at the heart of my Safer West Mercia plan. 

“It is absolutely crucial that victims have the right support to cope and recover as well as receiving a service they expect and deserve from their police force and local partners.

“This meeting was an important opportunity to assess the force’s work and to ensure it continues to deliver on its duty to put victims and survivors first and reassure communities across West Mercia.” Contact information for the Victim Advice Line can be found on the PCC’s website – Helping Victims – West Mercia Police Crime Commissioner (