West Mercia Police commissioner pledges to recruit record number of officers ahead of election

The county's police and crime commissioner pledged to recruit record numbers of officers as he set out his platform to get re-elected.

John Campion has set out his stall for re-election at the region's police and crime commissioner.
John Campion has set out his stall for re-election at the region's police and crime commissioner.

Conservative John Campion is seeking public backing to remain as the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Mercia – the post he has held since being first elected in 2016.

This is the second time Mr Campion has had to prepare for the campaign, after last year's PCC elections were called off due to the impact of the pandemic.

The rescheduled election will now take place on Thursday, May 5, with a result expected to be declared sometime after the votes are counted on Monday, May 10.

Mr Campion has set out a series of key pledges and aims, saying he wants more specialist investigators to "target organised criminals dealing drugs and exploiting vulnerable children and adults".

The Conservative has also pledged to take on more police officers, with his intention to "recruit record numbers to ensure West Mercia Police has the highest number of officers it has ever had".

Another key aspect of the pledges outlined by Mr Campion is the aim for all communities to have "visible and accessible" police teams.

The commissioner said he wants more investment in technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition and specialist digital forensics, as well as specialist teams focused on confiscating the proceeds of crime from criminals.

Another pledge from Mr Campion focuses on victims saying he wants to make sure all victims of crime "have regular updates from officers investigating their complaint".

Mr Campion said he wanted criminals to be fearful of being caught – and for the proceeds of their crimes to be stripped away.

He said: “While West Mercia is a low crime area, crime can never just be accepted as inevitable – our community expects and deserves better.

"Criminals should live in fear of being caught, held accountable for their actions and have the proceeds of their crimes confiscated.

"I, like our community, expect our police to target criminal behaviour, investigate crime, protect the vulnerable and help deliver justice for victims and the wider community.

"Reports of crime should be taken seriously, proportionate investigations undertaken with victims kept updated.

"Too often this is not happening, whilst I have made progress as commissioner to focus our police on fighting crime and holding them to account, now is the time to maximise the benefit of our investment in policing with better service to the community and crime continuing to fall.”

He added: “To achieve this I will ensure the police have the resources and focus they need to relentlessly fight crime to keep our community safe.

"I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account in an evidenced and professional way to ensure the community has a strong voice at the heart of policing delivering results.

"Over the past five years I have made progress but there is always more to do. My commitment to the communities of West Mercia is clear – fighting crime will always be at the heart of my mission as commissioner.”

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