Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion has addressed public concerns about police visibility and contact in a recent accountability session with Chief Constable Pippa Mills, drawing upon over 140 questions received from community members.
Despite a survey, conducted by police, which says that three-fifths of respondents are satisfied with local police presence, the majority of public enquiries underscored feelings of unease due to infrequent sightings of officers patrolling their neighbourhoods on foot.
Mr Campion challenged Chief Constable Mills, querying why the public hasn't felt the impact of his investment to elevate officer numbers in West Mercia to record highs. The Chief Constable echoed the PCC's aspiration for a highly visible and accessible police force and hailed the establishment of new Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams to amplify patrols. However, she conceded that efforts to boost visibility could be further improved.
The session also explored the quality of service delivered when residents report a crime. While some public feedback praised the supportive conduct of officers, others expressed dissatisfaction, alleging a deficit in the top-tier service they expect from the force.
Chief Constable Mills reassured the PCC of her commitment to ensuring that officers treat all individuals fairly and respectfully, adhering to proper procedures in crime response. She emphasised her clarity on these expectations.
PCC Campion will scrutinise these concerns further, integrating them into his broader initiatives to foster a safer West Mercia. This will involve addressing these recurring issues in future Community Conversation events, demonstrating the PCC's continued commitment to public consultation and engagement.