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Promises form pathway to cuts

By Caroline Jones | Readers' letters | Published:

It seems that West Mercia Police (WMP) have not noticed that Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire are all rural counties.

A large part of the WMP population live in locations which can be difficult to locate without local knowledge, especially when someone faces the stress of an emergency situation and are not necessarily thinking clearly. Post codes can cover a large area in the countryside. There may be a village name, but it does not follow that the property is anywhere near the village.

But our elected Police and Crime Commissioner, John-Paul Campion, whose main role as a PCC is to be “the voice of the people and hold the police to account” plus be “responsible for the totality of policing” has shown, on many occasions, that he thinks otherwise.

As he has stated re: the change in handling WMP 999 calls “The significant improvements around technology, telecoms and estate will allow a more effective and efficient response to emergencies, with the public getting the right help at the right time.”

Translated for us taxpaying plebs, that translates as “The significant improvements around technology, telecoms and estate will allow (more cuts), a more effective and efficient response to emergencies, (with less police officers) with the public getting the right help at the right time. (Right for who?)”

Malcolm Macintyre-Read, Much Wenlock

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said:

“Two principles that drive all of my work as Commissioner are making our communities safer, and improving the service our communities get from their police force. Those principles are central to the new Operations Communications Centre project. Its sole purpose is to improve the response people get from their police force.

“Mr MacIntyre-Read claims this project is about cuts, but I am afraid nothing could be further from the truth. This project represents a £23m investment in West Mercia’s emergency services, delivering the very best technology available to police today, giving them the tools they need to do their jobs better.

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“Along with this investment in infrastructure I will continue to meet my promise to protect frontline policing. Officer numbers have increased significantly in West Mercia in the last few years years and will remain broadly the same throughout my term of office.

“I understand questions about calls to the police not being answered within the county, but that is already the case and has been for 10 years now. The existing call centres at Battlefields and Hindlip operate as a single model, meaning calls from Shropshire are routinely answered in Worcester and vice versa.

“The staff at Battlefields continue to work hard through this period of change and I am grateful for their dedication. The decision to close the site is no reflection of the quality of their work.

“It is about grasping an opportunity to modernise and improve the police service, and ultimately deliver a better service for all our communities in West Mercia.”

Caroline Jones

By Caroline Jones
Group Head of Features - @CarolineJ_star

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