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Weekly Update from West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner
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Weekly Update from Police & Crime Commissioner, Bill Longmore

Welcome to the latest edition of my newsletter. Each week I'll bring you the latest updates on the work being done by myself, my office and our many partner organisations - all trying to reduce & prevent crime, and make West Mercia an even better & safer place to live. Thank you for your continued interest and support, and as always, there is an open invitation for you to get involved with our work as well.


Bill Longmore, Police & Crime Commissioner for West Mercia

Latest News
Police patrol bases will be reinstated in Malvern and Ross-on-Wye, following efforts from both West Mercia PCC and the force.
 
In September 2013 West Mercia Police introduced a completely new model of local policing, as the force faced having to make significant savings. As part of that model, it was decided that Ledbury would operate as a central patrol base for officers serving all three towns, and the surrounding areas.
 
Across the force, the new system has led to some notable successes, but following a review, the local system in Ledbury will be changed. As of March 2nd 2015, a total of 10 officers will remain in Ledbury, but 15 will now operate from a base at Ross, and 20 will be based in Malvern.
 
The new arrangements do not fundamentally change how many officers serve each local area. Those figures remain almost identical, and the number of officers dedicated to local policing in Ledbury will not change at all. It simply means that the officers who have always policed Malvern and Ross-on-Wye will operate out of local bases once again, ensuring more of a local presence.
 
The existing police stations in Malvern, Ross and Ledbury will continue as operational police bases, and that arrangement will continue for the foreseeable future.
 
The PCC Bill Longmore said: “I wasn’t happy with the policing situation with Ross-on-Wye and Malvern. The towns felt a bit isolated from Ledbury, and I was keen to make sure policing arrangements were reviewed. It didn’t seem to be working as well with the officers all based in Ledbury”.
 
“I asked the Chief Constable to look at it again, and to his credit and that of the force, I think they’ve come up with a solution that, I think, will mean a better service for local residents and businesses.”
 
Supt Sue Thomas, Policing Commander for Herefordshire said: “We have considered and tried a different way to patrol the South Herefordshire and Malvern areas by centralising the officers at Ledbury. However, through monitoring this situation over 12 months, it is clear that re-establishing patrol bases at Ross on Wye and Malvern is the most appropriate way forward. Both Ross on Wye and Ledbury are thriving towns within Herefordshire, with much community spirit, and it is important that they receive the policing service to reflect this, balanced against demand and risk.”
 
“I am pleased that locally based patrol officers will provide the policing service in both towns and will be better placed to focus on issues and problems affecting local people."

Supt Kevin Purcell, Policing Commander for South Worcestershire said: "I see this as offering both Herefordshire and South Worcestershire the best opportunity of serving local people. I applaud the way we were open minded and gave the Ledbury option a sensible consideration. I am however very supportive of the decision made, as it will ensure that I am best able to ensure proactive patrols are targeted on the Malvern Hills district.”


ALSO THIS WEEK

Coverage in the Hereford Times of the Close House city centre clean-up.

The PCC joined boxing legend Richie Woodhall for the launch of the CCTV system in Shifnal, as covered by the Shropshire Star.

The Shropshire Star also asked the Deputy PCC for his thoughts on the subject of arming more police officers with Tasers.

You can always get more of the latest news on the website too
In the Community
Both the PCC and Deputy PCC visited Herefordshire, and joined representatives from the Fire Service and the County Council in giving presentations at a community safety event in Ewyas Harold

The Deputy PCC also visited Hereford this week, meeting with Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Scheme, local policing command, and visiting the control centre at Old Market. He also went to the Officer Commendation Evening later. Photos here.

In Shropshire, the PCC's Community Ambassador visited a women's 'alternative to custody' programme at Willowdene Farm near Bridgnorth, which has received a £35,000 grant from the PCC. The project is having major successes in reducing reoffending rates, saving money to the taxpayer and giving real life skills to offenders.

In Telford, the PCC's Ambassador met local policing commanders, discussing things like the night-time economy and hate crime. The Ambassador also met the chair of the central mosque to discuss how it is supporting community organisations and victims of crime.

The PCC's Ambassador for South Worcestershire met members of the Cathedral ward PACT in Worcester, to discuss local issues, including representatives from local neighbourhood watch schemes , PCSOs and the Community Safety Partnership.

In North Worcestershire, the PCC's Ambassador was in Kidderminster for updates on how various schems funded by the PCC are progressing, and to monitor how the money has been used. The programmes included Young Ambassadors, a legal urban art wall, and help for Community Safety Partnerships to analyse and research their work more effectively.

Next week's diary highlights:

Monday 16th February
Deputy PCC to attend Bromyard & Winslow Town Council meeting

Tuesday 17th February
PCC/DPCC weekly meeting with Chief Constable & Deputy

Wednesday 18th February
Meeting with Chief Finance Officer

Thursday 19th February
PCC to meet with HMIC representative
Criminal Justice board meeting
 
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