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Update from West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner
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The latest news from John Campion,
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

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As we come to the end of 2016, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017.

I am sure that you will all be taking a moment to reflect on the year that was and think about what 2017 will bring. For me, it will undoubtedly be another busy, but productive and positive year. There is a huge amount I want to deliver for our communities in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire in the coming 12 months. 

I look forward to working with our communities, and for our communities, again to achieve this.

Best wishes,

VIDEO: Investment in body-worn cameras
I was pleased to announce this month that I am investing in new body-worn cameras for West Mercia Police, which will fulfil key commitments around public confidence and police reform.

I have driven the agenda for the new equipment since my election and I have now signed off a business case worth £1m, which will see the cameras introduced in 2017.

The technology has been shown to have a significant impact in other forces, where they have reduced complaints against police officers, helped prevent crimes occurring and provided clear evidence of incidents when required.

I promised our communities that I would reform and modernise their police service to ensure better efficiency, effectiveness and value for money. This investment demonstrates how I am delivering on that promise. By making sure our police have the tools they need to do their difficult jobs to the best of their abilities, it will make much better use of their time and resources all round.

This technology is also about reassuring our communities and giving them confidence. The cameras provide clarity and evidence about what has happened at incidents involving the police, which I know will also be beneficial for officers.
I have seen first hand the benefits these cameras have and have led the push for their introduction. I am pleased to have reached this milestone and will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure the cameras are introduced on time, on budget and then used appropriately across the force.
Government funding announced
I welcome the announcement from the government about funding for policing in West Mercia for 2017/18. The West Mercia area will be receiving a total of £120.2m in central funding next year - which will provide stability for our communities.
I am pleased that the government has again demonstrated its commitment to keeping our communities safe. It is clear that it remains a top priority. However, I do still believe that West Mercia deserves a fairer share of the national pot and I will continue to work with the government to address the wider issues around the funding formula.
At a local level, this settlement gives the opportunity for our police force to deliver the reformed, modern 21st century service which our communities need. I will produce a budget to meet my election promises, around ensuring your money is spent as efficiently as possible before asking for any more, investing in our police force, improving community police visibility, and providing good, consistent services for victims of crime.

My budget proposals are being finalised in time for consultation with our communities early in the new year.
VIDEO: Drink driving campaign
 
We know, all too well, the dangerous consequences of drink or drug driving. In the past three years, 10 people have died and 108 were seriously injured in collisions in the West Mercia region in which drink or drugs were a contributing factor - that’s far too many families who will be missing a loved one this Christmas as a result of someone’s actions.

As Commissioner I will continue to support the police in doing all they can to make our roads safer. I am reassured by the police approach, both in terms of enforcement and awareness raising, and will continue to actively support initiatives and campaigns.
John with DCC Chris Singer and the Director for the TTC Group, Alan Prosser

Earlier this month, I welcomed an initiative to show people the dangers of drink driving. I put on a pair of virtual ‘beer goggles’ to try out the drink driving simulator, set up in Telford Shopping Centre by TTC Group.
As you can see from the video, alcohol can seriously impair your abilities so don't take the risk. For more on the Safer Road Partnerships campaign with West Mercia Police click this link.
Funding to help young people stay on the ‘Straight and Narrow’
 
Earlier this month I visited pupils and mentors, from the Straight and Narrow Project having provided them with £10,000 in funding.
This money is being used to help young people improve their behaviour, stay in education and keep away from crime. 
 

Projects like this are an important part of my pledge to build a safer and more secure West Mercia. I want to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour now and in the future, but this isn’t something that can be achieved in isolation. By working with our partners in education, we are helping these young people to get on the right track at an early age, and having a far broader impact on our communities, by preventing potential crime.

 

The Straight and Narrow project recruits and trains professional people to mentor a young person at Tudor Grange Academy in Worcester, helping them to consider their behaviour and avoid exclusion. When a pupil is excluded the immediate ‘cost’ to society is around £10,000 however the long term cost to society is often far higher.

John with Principal Roach and pupils from Tudor Grange Academy

Children who do not complete their education are often more likely to come into contact with the police and commit crimes in their communities.

 

It was a pleasure to meet the mentors in person and thank them on behalf of the public. The difference they make is beyond measure.

North Worcestershire Commendation Awards
 
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Tracey Onslow was impressed by the bravery of officers, staff and the public when she attended the North Worcestershire Commendation Awards on my behalf.
 
The awards honoured those who had saved lives and protected communities. They commended police officers whose hard work and commitment had gone beyond the call of duty to help victims, and members of the public whose extraordinary actions made a massive impact.
 
DPCC Tracey Onslow said; “Police officers and staff already do challenging roles in difficult situations. I was honoured to attend the awards and see the impressive work of our officers who have gone beyond this, putting others before themselves. I was also impressed by our community members who have done something exceptional to help the communities we live in.”
DAWN project
 
I help to provide funding for The DAWN project, a free, confidential and non-judgemental service for women in Worcester who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. 
Deputy PCC Tracey Onslow with Helen Scarett and Alice Byrne from the DAWN project
Earlier this month Deputy PCC Tracey Onslow spent time with them as they released balloons with inspirational messages into the community.
 
If you need help this Christmas, or would like more information on the work of the project click here.
Community Ambassador round-up
My ambassadors have finished the year of with lots of engagements, including some festive ones!

Photos clockwise: Telford & Wrekin ambassador, Sherrel Fikeis, at the Wellington Boxing Club. Herefordshire ambassador, Dan Guerche, attended a Rural Matters event. Dan is pictured with Business Rural Crime Coordinator, Paul Crumpton. Shropshire ambassador, Graham Oliver, attended the Oswestry Christmas parade. Dan Guerche is pictured with Learning & Development Officer Adrian Turton from Herefordshire Council. Graham Oliver with the organisers of the Shrewsbury Winter Festival. Dan Guerche is pictured with Neighbourhood Watch Scheme Review Officer, Bob Barnett.

John's Diary

5 January -  Opening Bliss Gate Field, Kidderminster
6 January - Meeting West Mercia Neighbourhood Watch
11 January - Hot seat interview with BBC Shropshire
11 January - Meet with Telford neighbourhood watch
11 January - Meet with Shifnal Council regarding CCTV
13 January - Meeting with the Home Office
17 January - Meeting in Monkland with local residents and Councillors
23 January - Meet with new police officer students
25 January - Alliance Governance Group meeting
26 January - Association of PCCs general meeting
30 January - Ludlow Town Council meeting
31 January - Monthly PCC/Chief Constable holding to account meeting


To view a comprehensive version of the PCC's diary, including events in your area, click here
 

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Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, West Mercia · West Mercia Police (OPCC) · Hindlip · Worcester, Worcestershire WR3 8SP · United Kingdom

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