PCC newsletter – March 2024


Welcome to my March newsletter.

This month’s edition includes the results of the latest perception survey into the confidence of West Mercia Police, the projects I am funding as part of my Road Safety Fund and my latest meeting with the Chief Constable around Child Sexual Exploitation. 

PCC thanks communities for support

As an election is on the horizon, with the pre-election period starting on Tuesday 19 March, this will be the last newsletter in my 2021-2024 term.

It has been invaluable to meet as many of you as possible at community events and to have conversations about your views and concerns on local policing.

The newsletters from the Police and Crime Commissioner will resume in early-May following the result of the elections.

Tackling crime in West Mercia

I am encouraged to see that crime overall is reducing across West Mercia, with a 15% decrease in the number of reports between January 2022 and January 2023.

A decrease in reports has been seen across the majority of crime types, with vehicle offences, theft from a person (-28%) and anti-social behaviour (-20%) some of the biggest reductions recorded over the same time period.

A number of different factors have contributed to this, including the presence of the Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams I have funded.

These bespoke units have been working at the heart of communities to tackle crime.

As part of my budget for the coming year, I am also funding Town Centre Policing Teams to further increase the visibility of officers in crime hotspots to ensure crime continues to decrease across West Mercia.

Government announces additional money to boost PCC’s work to tackle anti-social behaviour

Committed to building a safer West Mercia, last month I welcomed additional Government funding to continue my focus on tackling anti-social behaviour.

The latest Government announcement, following a successful pilot in ten other force areas, will see West Mercia Police receive £1 million to increase uniformed patrolling in ASB hotspots.

I fully support this announcement by the Government as I regularly speak to communities across West Mercia who tell me about the impact anti-social behaviour is having on their feelings of safety.

I am clear, ASB is not a low-level crime, and it needs a strong police response. That’s why I remain focused on ensuring West Mercia Police has the resources it needs to drive change.

In line with the public’s priorities, I have targeted significant investment into boosting officer numbers to record levels, introduced first-of-a-kind Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams and this year, town centre policing teams.

I am under no illusion that this is job done, and while this progress is welcome it needs to be seen and felt by the public.

Read more

PCC focuses on public priorities in performance meeting with police Chief

As the voice of the public in policing, a key part of my role is to support and challenge the Chief Constable to ensure the police is delivering for communities across West Mercia.

I am committed to ensuring local communities have confidence in West Mercia Police, and therefore I raised inconsistencies in confidence levels across the three counties.

I scrutinised the performance of the 101 non-emergency line as part of this meeting. With 54% of calls being answered in 30 seconds, this falls 6% short of the force’s target.

While I recognise the improvements that have been made in this area with longer term plans for sustainable improvement, I have sought reassurance on the longer-term plans to deliver greater efficiencies.

While it’s reassuring that crime is falling across the three counties, it’s important that all victims receive a service they expect and deserve. It’s clear that more needs to be done, and quickly.

Find out more

Tackling child-sexual exploitation in West Mercia

I held a formal Assurance and Accountability meeting with the Temporary Chief Constable on its progress to safeguard children.

The meeting was recorded and is now able to watch.

All 13 of West Mercia Police’s recommendations set out in a judge-led independent inquiry, published in 2022, into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Telford were covered in the session.

To ensure the voices of those most impacted by CSE were at the heart of the meeting, feedback from those with lived experience helped inform my lines of enquiry.

While I am reassured significant progress has been made, there’s still more work that needs to be done.

Watch it here

More than 8 in 10 have confidence in West Mercia Police

Results from a survey I run every three months to gain a greater understanding of the public’s views on policing have been gathered.

More than 8 in 10 have confidence in West Mercia Police, but the force is yet to hit its 88% target.

Support and trust remains high, hitting 93% and 88% respectively, and there’s been a 4% rise (83%) in the number of people who feel they would receive a good service.

PCC addresses tensions in communities following recent national protests

Democracy forms the foundation of our communities in West Mercia, giving us all the power to act, speak or think freely.

But these freedoms are fragile and need continuous attention. The recent protests we have seen play out across the country have seen a small but vocal minority overstepping the line of peaceful expression and instead resorting to acts of violence, intimidation and hate.

I have seen this first-hand, where my office and I have received messages from anonymous accounts filled with threats of violence, false accusations and toxicity. I know these hate messages are not unique to me. This is happening across the political spectrum and MPs are fearing for their safety, with Preet Gill MP’s recent interview on Politics Midlands highlighting the daily abuse she faces.

It’s therefore on all of us to drive discourse in a way that respects differing opinions and firmly shuts the door on non-peaceful protest.

Read the open letter in full

PCC believes latest inquiry will address police behaviour

The heinous actions of Wayne Couzens in March 2021, which led to the tragic death of Sarah Everard, have forever altered the public’s trust in police forces across the country.

The Angiolini Inquiry, published last month, has outlined a number of recommendations for police forces including the need to improve the investigation of indecent exposure and the vetting process for police officers.

These recommendations further support actions taken by the Home Office, to address vetting, to ensure all police officers are held accountable for their conduct in line with public expectations.

In West Mercia, trust has remained high towards local police officers, and it is my duty to help protect that trust. However, it is right that this inquiry has shone a light on the improvements that need to be made in police forces across the country, particularly around vetting.

I am clear, I will do all in my power to build public confidence in the police by challenging and supporting West Mercia Police to ensure their officers are adequately trained, equipped and motivated to respond to reports.

Read more

PCC backs initiatives to tackle road safety concerns by £280k across West Mercia

Over a quarter of a million pounds will fund projects to make roads safer across West Mercia, as part of my Road Safety Fund.

With the original fund boosted by £30k after more than 80 applications were submitted by local communities, I will be funding a wide range of schemes across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.

I speak regularly to residents and road safety is often a top priority. It’s a concern I share, and I am committed to playing my part to reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed on our roads.

This is only possible with the support of local communities, so I welcome the number of applications and the creative ideas that were submitted.

Some of the projects all communities across West Mercia will benefit from include:

  • West Mercia Police’s ‘Car Safety Campaign’ to offer safety advice to parents to reduce harm to young passengers.
  • A 17–24-year-old pre-licence driver education programme to make young drivers more aware of road safety.

I look forward to seeing the schemes from cameras to education programmes being rolled out in the county, helping to drive change in West Mercia.

Read more

Schools across West Mercia receive mini police officer after winning PCC poster competition

At the heart of my Safer West Mercia Plan is a focus on improving road safety in West Mercia.

Therefore, it was encouraging to see more than 700 creative posters were submitted by 24 primary schools as part of my Mini Police Officer poster competition in December.

See examples of the winning entries above.

Read more
In the heart of your communityAs your voice in policing, I really value hearing your experiences and thoughts on policing in your area.

Over the past month, my senior political team and I have been visiting communities across West Mercia.


Earlier this month, I joined a meeting of the Alvechurch Parish Council in Bromsgrove to hear the communities concerns around road safety.

It was an opportunity for me to reassure the residents that active work is being done by myself and the force to ensure their safety.


I hosted a Community Conversation event in Ludlow this month and it was encouraging to see more than 20 residents turn up to voice their concerns around local policing to me.

I understood the communities’ concerns around rural crime and road safety but alongside the Rural and Business Officers, I was able to reassure the public that action is being taken to tackle such matters.

I also joined a meeting of Cardington Parish Council, where residents and councillors expressed their concerns around police visibility and accessibility.

I am continuing to provide West Mercia Police with the tools and resources it needs to ensure communities feel reassured they are safe.


I held a Community Conversation event in Oakengates to understand what action residents felt was needed from the police to feel safe in their local area.

Myself and the We Don’t Buy Crime Team reassured residents active work is being done to ensure their safety.

I also concluded my Roads Focus series in Brookside this month. It was once again invaluable to hear from the public.

I am committed to making West Mercia’s road safer and I will continue to take action so no person is seriously injured or killed on our roads.

Police action in your local areaTelford & Wrekin

Streetwatch Volunteers have now started working with SNT Wellington, they have been on the first walk on March 1 around Wellington and will be working with the neighbourhood team to assist PC’s and PCSO’s on their areas with local issues


2 males arrested after drugs located under car seat.

South Worcestershire

A prolific shoplifter who has been targeting shops in Evesham has been handed a Criminal Behaviour Order for two years.

North Worcestershire

A male was arrested for driving over the limit of a specified controlled drug and possession of a controlled drug.


One woman was charged on Wednesday 6 March with drugs offences after she was arrested at an address in Leominster, Herefordshire.