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 councils across Worcestershire, submitted their views on West Mercia Police, an increase of 30% from last year.
In North Worcestershire, just under half (44%) of respondents believe West Mercia Police is going an excellent/good job, which is higher than the West Mercia wide results at 29%.
Other results from respondents included:
- Just under half (43%) believe visibility of officers is poor/very poor.
- Three-quarters (75%) explained West Mercia Police works well with councils to identify local crime and disorder issues.
- Three-quarters (75%) also agree the police have acted upon priorities that have been set out.
- 81% believe it is easy/very easy to access their local policing teams.
- 38% state anti-social behaviour is a fairly/very big problem in the area.
- Other issues concerning residents include road safety (87%), as well as rural crime (55%).
In South Worcestershire, over a quarter (33%) of respondents agree West Mercia Police is working well with councils to identify and address local crime and disorder issues.
Other results from respondents included:
- 28% state they agree/strongly agree that they have confidence in the police to tackle local crime and disorder issues.
- Three-quarters (72%) explained police have been in contact to identify priorities as a town/parish council.
- 43% explained the police have acted upon the priorities set out.
- 50% explained they find it fairly easy/very easy to access their local policing teams.
- 38% believe that anti-social behaviour is a fairly big/very big problem in their area.
- Over three-quarters (77%) state road safety is a fairly big/very big problem, alongside criminal damage/vandalism (31%).
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 to see that councils in Worcestershire believe West Mercia Police is doing work of value within the community and they feel they are being heard. However, I acknowledge it could always be better as I want all residents to feel they are safe in their community by befitting from the investment I have made to provide West Mercia Police with a record number of officers and for residents to believe the force is delivering a high-quality service that both they and I expect them to.”
Superintendent Mel Paley, the North Worcestershire LPA commander, said: “I’m pleased to see that the majority of North Worcestershire’s town and parish councils report a good level of contact with West Mercia Police.
“It’s also good to see so many respondents in our area saying we’re doing a an excellent/good job, higher than the force wide result.
“My local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, now supported by the Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams, work hard to identify, and tackle local priorities, such as ASB, rural crime and road safety.
“We are working well with councils to address crime and disorder issues but there is clearly room for improvement in respect of visibility. We will ensure that is a focus going forward.”
Superintendent Rebecca Love, the South Worcestershire LPA commander, said: “I’m pleased to see that the majority of South Worcestershire’s town and parish councils report a good level of contact with West Mercia Police.
“It’s good to see violent crime is not seen as a problem by a large majority of respondents but we will not rest on our laurels with this issue.
“My local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, supported by the Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams, work hard to identify, and tackle local priorities, such as road safety, ASB, and criminal damage.
“We have recently seen a local restructure and change in our operating models to address crime such as shop theft, drugs, and burglary, which we recognise have a significant impact on the public and here. The early indicators around this approach are showing some very positive results.
“We are working well with councils to address crime and disorder issues, but I acknowledge the concerns over road safety and will ensure that is a focus going forward.”
You can read the 2023 Town and Parish Council Survey in full here.