Mr Campion’s commitment, in an open letter, follows recent disturbing instances that have threatened public trust in the local constabulary.
Campion has pledged full support to the Government’s initiative to re-vet serving police officers. In doing so, he is keen to ensure that Chief Constable Pippa Mills is sufficiently resourced and empowered to weed out those whose conduct falls short of expected standards. Although this might reveal more unworthy individuals within the force, Campion emphasises the importance of such a cleansing exercise in preserving the integrity of the service.
The open letter also offers reassurance about the existing robust processes and high standards of vetting for new recruits in the West Mercia Police. An independent report from November provided instances of ‘over-vetting’, signifying an unswerving commitment to ensure that every possible check is made on potential officers.
Examples of misconduct have been starkly illustrated recently, notably with the case of Officer Michael Darbyshire, who received a 14-year sentence for rape and sexual assaults. Another serving officer was dismissed after the exposure of offensive WhatsApp messages. The individual shared racially and homophobically charged content on both personal and work devices.
Public trust in the West Mercia Police is being actively rebuilt, with Commissioner Campion vowing to exercise all powers available to him to hold the Chief Constable accountable and to deliver on his promise to reform the force.
For anyone with concerns about a serving or former West Mercia Police officer, they are encouraged to report via the West Mercia Police’s website, call 101, visit their local police station, or report anonymously via CrimeStoppers.