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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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VIDEO: Behind the badge campaign
Yesterday I launched my #BehindTheBadge campaign, which calls for violence against police officers and staff to stop.
 
My campaign, which is being supported by West Mercia Police, the Police Federation and Unison, encourages the public to think about the challenging and sometimes dangerous role police professionals face. It's also about recognising the ordinary mother or father, son or daughter, family or friend that each police officer is outside of working hours - encouraging people to support and look #BehindTheBadge.
In 18 months, there were more than 850 assaults on West Mercia Police Officers and staff. This is not acceptable. Officers and staff work hard to serve our communities and we must do all we can to protect those who protect us.
As Commissioner I am taking a united approach to this. West Mercia Police works hard to keep officers and staff safe. Unquestionably strong support mechanisms for officers are already in place with additional help and advice available through the Police Federation and Victims Support. I want to build on this and ensure officers and staff can access the same services as any other victim of crime.
 
Locally, improvements will include the introduction of body warn cameras, which will be implemented this year, providing a deterrent to attacks against officers and clear evidence of what has happened during an incident.
It’s important to remember that assaults don’t just have to be physical; abuse of any kind at work is unacceptable. I want to see verbal abuse and offences such as spitting, also being taken seriously. 
Violence can have wider long-term impacts, not just on that individual, but on their friends and family. Every police professional has a private life outside of work. There are few other jobs where you would expect to be assaulted at work, so why should this be the case for police officers and staff?
 
Please remember police officers and staff already do a challenging and often dangerous role. We must support those who protect us.
 
Follow the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @WestMerciaPCC #BehindTheBadge
 
Violence against the police is not acceptable and is not tolerated.
Budget consultation

I would like to thank everyone who took part in my 2017/18 budget consultation survey, which closed on Monday 23 January. A total of XX responded to the survey and gave their comments on what they believe should happen to the policing element of the council tax they pay.

I look forward to presenting the feedback to the Police and Crime Panel next month and updating you with the decision soon after.


Please keep checking my website for updates:

www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk
Finding a solution for Monkland village

After concerned residents from a village in Herefordshire, asked for my help in tackling an accident black-spot, I called for a meeting with key partners and came together with them on Tuesday 17 January to find a way forward.
 
I made a promise that I would play my part, along with Herefordshire County Council, the Parish Council and West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership, in identifying a way to make this road safer.
Residents of Monkland village, which lies on the busy A44, have expressed concerns over a particular section of the road and whether its speed limits are safe along the entire stretch of the 50mph zone.

There have been a number of road traffic collisions along the section, including one
fatality which cost the life of a young mother in June 2016. The parish council have been fighting for changes to no avail.

I am committed to helping and I will do my part, but others need to as well and I will be looking to them to ensure that happens. We can’t wait for another fatality to happen before action is taken, something needs to be done now and I will help to achieve that.
Listening to Chris Blaydon, a resident of the village, who was also first on the scene at the accident last summer, made it even more pertinent that action should be taken: “There’s nothing like the noise of a car crash; we’ve heard a few in the four years we’ve been living next to the A44. On this particular day in June, my wife and I knew this was different.
"Grabbing our first aid kit, we ran to the bend to find the driver unconscious in the car and her two children in the back. We tried to help her, but it was too late.

“It’s time something effective was done to make this road safer, be it moving the 50 mph speed limit sign, alerting drivers to the dangerous bend ahead or introducing speed-activated signs. If Tanya and the other driver involved in the crash had been aware of the dangers of this bend, then perhaps a life could have been saved.”
 
A scheme of solutions is being pulled together and will be put before Balfour Beatty, Herefordshire County Council’s official partner for highways, next month.
Community Ambassador for Worcestershire - could it be you?

Do you live in the Worcestershire area? Are you passionate about working with local communities and supporting them to develop their own solutions to local issues? If so, you could be the perfect candidate to become my new Worcestershire Community Ambassador.

I currently have three other Ambassadors who represent me across the other counties - Dan Guerche for Herefordshire, Sherrel Fikeis for Telford & Wrekin and Graham Oliver for Shropshire. They do vital work in helping ensure I am connected to and engaging with our communities across a vast policing area.
The role of the Ambassador is to develop and sustain links with local communities, organisations and partner agencies, and provide a direct point of contact for me and my office. Our current Ambassadors raise the profile of my role and, when required, act as my representative in their designated areas. They work hard to make contact and develop relationships with local communities and partners and support them in a number of ways.

If you're interested in this role, please visit my website to find out more information and how to apply. The deadline for applications is January 31st 2017.
Community Ambassador round-up

My Community Ambassadors have kick-started the new year with lots of engagements. Below is just a snapshot of where they've been and who they've met with...

Photos clockwise: Graham Oliver, Shropshire ambassador, and Sherrel Fikeis, Telford & Wrekin ambassador, met with Simon Northcott from the Warriors Community Foundation and the Newport Rugby Club. Herefordshire ambassador, Dan Guerche, with a PCSO. Graham Oliver on one of his regular meetings with Shropshire's new Superintendent Jason Wells. Graham went on a night time economy patrol in Shifnal. Dan with PCSO Hayley Cohen after attending a Cyberguard presentation at Kingstone & Thruxton Primary School.
Shrewsbury maintains its Purple Flag status

Shropshire Ambassador, Graham Oliver, as part of Team Shrewsbury, worked hard with police and partners to see that Shrewsbury maintained its Purple Flag status.

The town was deemed a safe and welcome environment for the second year running, even with approximately 20% more people enjoying nights out there. This achievement shows the value of working closely with businesses, local organisations, and local councils through Team Shrewsbury where the focus is on improving safety in the town.
  

Since last year, there have been upgrades to the CCTV system including replacing the cameras with updated models and installing a new system at the CCTV Control Centre, which is staffed at all core times of the evening and acts as a key link between licensed premises and the public sector partners. Pubwatch is also now operating a digital information sharing platform that also allows crime reporting to West Mercia Police. 

 

The Street Pastors have expanded their volunteers to 29 and have opened their customer facing shop unit, which advertises Team Shrewsbury and its partners during the day time and evening. The mobile triage centre now has ‘The Donkey’, a vehicle which was purchased by the organisation and will remain a permanent resource during the evening.

Public space protection order (PSPO) out for consultation on Shrewsbury centre

Last year, I received a letter from a former councillor and resident of Shrewsbury. As my Ambassador for Shropshire, I asked Graham Oliver to make contact. She had expressed concern about areas in and around Shrewsbury town suffering from drug problems, rough sleepers and people who are alcohol-dependent.

Graham and a Sergeant Richard Coles visited the lady and listened to her concerns, which we then promised to raise with the council to get the process started. Through Team Shrewsbury, Graham decided to get a meeting held between the Business Improvement District (BID) and the County Council; as the public space protection order would be mainly based in the town centre.

Graham and the team that worked on this have successfully got the PSPO agreed and it is now out for public consultation until 12 March 2017. The consultation and more information on it can be found here.
Community speed watch kits

In September last year, I announced that I was doubling the number of speeding kits from 20 to 40.

There are many areas across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire that suffer with speeding - in particular within the rural areas.

These speeding kits would enable communities to come together as a speed watch group and empower them to play a more active role in identifying and tackling local issues.
If you're interested in getting involved or finding out more, please contact Please contact Anna Higgins on 01905 331248 or Vicki Bristow on 01905 331242.

John's Diary

Friday 3 February - Meeting with Malvern District Council to discuss south Worcestershire
Tuesday 7 February - Police and Crime Panel meeting
Wednesday 8 February - Oswestry Town Council meeting
Friday 10 February - Opening of new community café at Bluestone Centre
Monday 13 February - Speaking at Worcester Rotary Club
Tuesday 28 February - Speaking at Shrewsbury Rotary Club

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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