Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is working alongside staff at HMP Hewell to reduce assaults on emergency workers.
During a visit to the prison, prisoners, including those who had been the perpetrators of assaults, shared their experiences and gave feedback on materials for the PCC’s Behind the Badge campaign. Their responses will be used to shape the campaign moving forward, changing attitudes towards police and other emergency workers and encouraging people to behave differently.
With nearly 7,500 assaults* reported on prison workers in a 12 month period, the PCC will be linking in with prison staff to recognise all those who work to keep people safe and encourage a reduction in violence.
Commissioner John Campion said: “I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with HMP Hewell and to learn from the experiences of prisoners and staff, supporting our common goal of wanting to protect those who protect us. Through our conversations we found that taking a human approach, to show the impact that violence can have on those on the frontline, can help us achieve our aim in changing the attitudes and behaviours of offenders.
“I am committed to improving public confidence in the police service, and ensuring we have a visible, professional service, that our communities respect. Moving forward I’m keen to work with other emergency services to reduce the violence which is unacceptable towards anyone who is keeping us safe.”
Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said: “I am pleased to see the partnership between HMP Hewell and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner in action. Violence against our hardworking staff is completely unacceptable and will never be tolerated.
“We are focused relentlessly on increasing safety across the estate, from the provision of body-worn cameras to the installation of CCTV. We are determined to continue to focus our efforts on stopping the flow of illegal and dangerous contraband.”
Follow the campaign on social media: @WestMerciaPCC #BehindTheBadge
*The Ministry of Justice reported 7437 assaults between June 2016 and June 2017.