As the voice of the public in policing, a record number of town and parish councils have had their say on policing through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s bespoke survey. 182 councils in total, including those across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, submitted their views on West Mercia Police, an increase of 30% from last year.
In Shropshire, results were similar to those of the West Mercia wide data, with 73% of respondents believing West Mercia Police is doing a fair, good or excellent job in their local community.
Other results from respondents included:
- 58% have perceived police visibility to be poor or very poor in their area.
- An overwhelming majority (90%) state that West Mercia Police have been in contact to identify priorities in the Town or Parish Council area.
- 37% explained crime and anti-social behaviour is a cause for concern in the area, which is higher than the West Mercia average of 32%.
- Road safety (81%) and rural crime (66%) were also top priorities, with these matters being a fairly big/very big problem in the local area.
In Telford and Wrekin, over half (53%) of respondents believe that West Mercia are doing an excellent/good job in the local area, which is higher than the West Mercia average of 29%.
Other results from respondents included:
- Less than a quarter (20%) rate the visibility of police officers as poor.
- An overwhelming majority (87%) believe West Mercia Police is working well with the council to identify and address local crime and disorder issues.
- 73% agree that they had confidence in West Mercia Police.
- 100% state it is fairly easy/very easy to access their local policing teams.
- 87% also explained their level of contact with West Mercia Police was excellent/good.
- Anti-social behaviour is a cause for concern for 20%, which they believe to be a fairly big problem.
- Road safety (64%) is perceived to be a fairly big/very big problem, with rural crime following behind at 27%.
PCC John Campion said: “As PCC, my pledge is clear to ensure everyone from all corners of our communities has a voice, and it’s heard at the highest level in policing. This survey allows me to understand the concerns of communities across West Mercia, and I will ensure they are acted upon.
“It’s welcome that the majority of councils in Shropshire believe that West Mercia Police is doing a good job and confidence is high in the force across Telford & Wrekin. I acknowledge there is concern around the visibility of police officers and that it is not what residents, or I expect. I want the community to feel the benefits of the investment I have made to provide West Mercia Police with a record number of officers, who are delivering on my commitment to build a Safer West Mercia.”
Superintendent Stu Bill, the Shropshire LPA commander, said: “It is pleasing to see so many people responded to say that they believe we are doing a good job here in Shropshire.
“Visibility remains a challenge given that Shropshire is a such a large geographical area, but we continue to remain committed to doing this, and recognise visibility comes in many different forms and not just a ‘bobby on the beat’.
“Roads and rural crime are reflective of our local priorities and out teams continue to focus on these. Crime is reducing here in Shropshire and positive outcomes are the highest they have been for several years, but we of course will continue in our efforts to both prevent crime and bring offenders to justice.”
Superintendent Jamie Dunn, the Telford & Wrekin LPA commander, said: “I welcome the public feedback, and I am pleased to see that compared to the same period last year crime in Telford is down ten per cent, and we will continue to work hard to reduce that figure.
“We have introduced a number of initiatives here in Telford to increase out engagement with the public, most recently we introduced Bus and Discuss, which will see officers and PCSOs travelling on the local bus networks talking to members of the public. This initiative aims to increase engagement with women and girls, as well as help tackle anti-social behaviour.”
You can read the 2023 Town and Parish Council Survey in full here.