Cutting Edge Technology to Improve Services to Local Communities (Video)
Click to watch video: John Campion discusses the benefits of the new technology for the OCC.
I am ensuring that the public receive an emergency service that is fast, efficient and with the right person in the right place. To deliver this, work is about to commence on a new state of the art Operations Communications Centre (OCC), which will improve emergency services to communities across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire.(Artists impressions of new building at Hindlip below) The OCC project represents a whole new way of working, with vast improvements in technology and a close collaboration with the fire service.
I will be officially launching the £23.5 million project on Friday 7th October, alongside Chief Constable Anthony Bangham and Chief Fire Officer Nathan Travis from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.
Changes in technology, telecoms, estates and culture will empower officers to work more efficiently and effectively. Call operators will be able to take more information at the first point of contact and relay this to officers in our communities. This will give them the tools to make timely decisions and allow them to spend more time with the public.
Within this, is a £5.5 million investment in new technology has been made. This technology represents a significant step forward on my pledges to create a more secure, reassured and reformed West Mercia. I pledged to back the force and give our officers the tools to do their jobs better. This whole project will enable them to serve our communities in a much more effective, efficient way.
Holding to Account: Child Sexual Exploitation
I recently held a formal holding to account session with the Chief Constable to discuss the force’s ongoing work to tackle child sexual exploitation.
The subject is a top priority for myself, the police and other partners.
At the meeting I questioned the Chief Constable, Anthony Bangham, on a number of areas including: current police intelligence; training to increase numbers of CSE trained officers; how victims are being protected; how perpetrators are being dealt with; and whether all partner agencies are sufficiently engaged.
The meeting covered a lot of ground and reinforced for me that the police and partners fully recognise this issue and they are taking it very seriously.
There are areas where I feel things could be improved, for example around resources and ensuring a greater number of officers and staff are trained to meet increasing demands. However, the force is well aware of where improvements can be made and they are working hard to address these areas. I will ensure they have the resources they need to deliver those improvements and will hold the Chief to account to ensure they happen in a timely way.
This month's events in pictures...
My meeting with Councillors in Oswestry
Community Ambassador for Shropshire, Graham Oliver, meets with Cleobury residents to launch new CCTV
Parade at RAF Shawbury
Deputy PCC Tracey Onslow and ACC Amanda Blakeman take a 'selfie' with the new West Mercia Police Cadets
Community Ambassador for Herefordshire, Dan Guerche, Tracey Onslow and Insp Nick Semper attend the Cyber Matters event
Putting Victims First
As part of my promise to put victims first I am investing over £700,000 in support services for victims of sexual violence across West Mercia.
Putting victims and survivors first will be a key priority in my Safer West Mercia Plan, with a focus on delivering improved and consistent services for victims to help them cope, recover and reduce re-victimisation. I want to ensure that the right structures and resources are in place to help victims and provide them with the best possible service.
The two support services that have been awarded with the funding are Axis Counselling & Psychotherapy and the West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC). These services will receive funding for extra Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). WMRSASC has employed two male advisors to provide victims with a choice of who they work with.
I will also be supporting preventative work within schools. A sexual violence resource pack, called 'SELFIE', is aimed at 11 to 18 year-olds and is currently being delivered across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The project looks at issues such as consent, what sexual violence/abuse is, sexting and pornography. A similar scheme for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin will follow in the coming months.
Pictured from left to right: Denise Griffiths, Operations Manager for WMRSARC, Andy Price, ISVA, Ruth Kimberley, ISVA Service Manager and Andy Larkin, ISVA.
The final consultation for my Safer West Mercia Plan closed on 16 September. I promised that I would listen and engage with the public and I have delivered on that promise. Your input and feedback has helped shape the plan, and I am very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to send their comments.
Your feedback has been reviewed and included in the final draft which I will present to the Police and Crime Panel for review next week. The panel will review the plan and I will make final amendments as necessary before the final version is published.
The plan sets out my specific aims for the next four years and how I will create a safer West Mercia, whilst working in partnership with the police, communities and other agencies.
Community Speed Watch
I am investing in a further 20 community speed watch kits to tackle speeding across West Mercia.
I want to empower people within our communities to play a more active role in identifying and tackling issues. If someone has concerns about speeding in their village, then I want them to contact my office and I will help them. Active citizenship can, and should, have a major role in creating communities that are safer.
We currently have 13 active speed watch groups across the force area. I hope that, by providing additional kits, more people will be encouraged to get involved and they can make positive contributions to their community.
Here I am taking part in the Community Speed Watch action day in Crowle.
New Community Ambassador for Telford and Wrekin
I am pleased to introduce my new Community Ambassador for the Telford and Wrekin area.
Sherrel Fikeis has started in post this month and joins the rest of my Ambassador team across the West Mercia area.
Sherrel has already started meeting with different community groups to discuss issues affecting them and how I can help as Commissioner.
I attended a service at St Pauls Cathedral in London with West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, to mark National Police Memorial Day. Our police officers do a difficult but extremely valuable job, and it’s important that we take the time to recognise their dedication. My thoughts are with the colleagues, family and friends of anyone who has died in the line of duty. We will remember them and recognise the sacrifice they made.
HMIC Report on Stop and Search
I am pleased to see West Mercia Police reinstated on the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme, following a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
HMIC reported it is confident the West Mercia Police are using their stop and search powers proportionately and lawfully.
The appropriate use of stop and search means our communities are protected and the public are dealt with proportionately. I am pleased to see that a number of improvements have been made, and I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account to ensure West Mercia Police are using Stop and Search in the best possible way.
3 October - YSS 30 year celebration event, Worcester
3 October - West Mercia Police Long Service and Good Conduct Awards
6 October - Enforcement exercise with Safer Roads Partnership
7 October - Turf Cutting Ceremony for New Operations Command Centre, Hindlip (OCC) 11 October - Visiting HVOSS (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service) (Tracey Onslow)
12 October - Visiting Bluestone Centre, Tenbury Wells
13 October - Meeting Acting Governer of HMP Hewell
14 October - Shropshire Youth Association Annual Celebration Event (Tracey Onslow)
18 October - Meeting with Safelives Domestic Abuse Charity (Tracey Onslow)
21 October - Rural and Business Crime Briefing
24 October - Meeting Parish Councillors, Aymestry 26 October - Meeting to discuss Mental Health Concordat Governance Group
27 October - Attending Pathfinder (Under 17s Driving Programme)
To view a comprehensive version of the PCC's diary, including events in your area, click here