PCC John Campion is reassuring communities that, together with West Mercia Police, he is taking action to break the cycle of homicide.
After identifying there is an increase in the volume of homicides within West Mercia, the PCC is working with the force to understand the reasons why people have come to lose their lives, and how further deaths can be prevented by targeting the root cause – for example mental health or domestic abuse.
The issue was raised at a holding to account meeting, where it was discussed that in order to tackle this crime it requires a whole system approach. This includes the PCC investing in prevention services, and identifying where there are gaps, with West Mercia Police utilising the extra resources that are being placed into investigations.
The highest proportion of those killed were as a result of partner on partner (20%) with parent on child accounting for 15% of the 19 recorded homicides in 2020/21.
PCC John Campion said: “Unfortunately we have seen a worrying rise in the number of people needlessly losing their lives, which is devastating families. As PCC I want to reassure communities that I will take the necessary action to tackle this crime, and put an end to this increase we are currently facing. Regardless of the nature of this crime, it still has the potential to cause concern amongst communities.
“I have already announced that, as part of my budget proposals, an additional 68 police officers will be allocated to investigations. I will also continue to provide funding for services that work with perpetrators of crime, such as domestic abuse, to prevent further victims. I will be seeking reassurance, and regular updates, from the Chief Constable that what has been discussed in the meeting has been implemented on behalf of the communities of West Mercia.”
Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “Homicide is one of the most ruinous crimes that impacts families and communities.
“We retain a wholehearted commitment to find justice for those affected and constantly seek improvement in how murder is investigated.
“West Mercia has a cross-directorate action plan and a range of prevention activities to break the drivers of murder: domestic abuse, mental health, organised crime and county lines.
“Additional resources will allow us to continue the delivery of high-quality investigations, alongside an increase in preventative measures.
“West Mercia will continue to work proactively with the PCC and our partners in health, education, probation, criminal justice and other authorities to help save lives.”