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8th Dec, 2021

West Mercia Police told they need to improve following inspection

AN inspection of West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police has concluded they both require improvement in how they keep people safe and reduce crime.

The two forces have a strategic partnership and both received the same rating in the report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

The report asked ‘How legitimate the forces were in keeping people safe and reducing crime?’ and decided they “must improve their understanding of how officers and staff use force”.

The comments on West Mercia Police and Warwickshire very much mirror each other.

Reporting on West Mercia it found: “For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is less positive than last year when we assessed the force as good.

The force requires improvement in some aspects of treating the people it serves with fairness and respect; it requires improvement in ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully; and it requires improvement in some aspects of treating its workforce with fairness and respect.”

The inspectors said that although the force’s leaders clearly demonstrate they understand and value the benefits of procedural justice, “they need to provide the workforce with training so the force acts fairly, treats people with respect and communicates effectively”.

However it added: “Reassuringly, the force encourages external scrutiny from different groups and acts on their feedback, but it would benefit from involving young people more”.

The force was also praised for ensuring staff make decisions that are ethical but it needs to improve its handling of complaints and misconduct cases.

It needs to be consistent in handling cases that involve discrimination and it could do more to promote access to the complaints system.

 

Numbers:

In other areas the two forces fair better being rated ‘Good’ for efficiency.

Statistics for West Mercia show 75 per cent of staff are frontline officers, although there has been a 16 per cent drop in numbers since 2010.

It serves a population of 1.24million and there are roughly three officers per head of population at a cost of 45p per person per day.

The national average is 55p per person per day.

Warwickshire Police serves a population of 550,000 and has faced a 21 per cent drop in its workforce since 2010. It has 2.7 officers per head of population at a cost of 46p per person. In all 80 per cent of its staff are frontline officers.

Victim-based crimes for both forces stand at 0.05 per person.

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