Police chief gives message to the region

The chief constable of West Mercia Police has assured the public that they are ‘working hard’ to keep them safe and supported in the coming weeks.

In an open letter, Anthony Bangham has said that West Mercia Police are working with its partners to provide an effective policing service, as well as a range of other services and support, particularly for the vulnerable and those most in need.

Chief Constable Bangham said: “In the light of further developments at both a national and local level, and taking full account of the announcement by the Prime Minister, I wanted to reassure the communities of West Mercia that we will continue to work hard to keep you safe and support you through the coming weeks.

“This is a national emergency and we have now taken the decision, along with our partners, to declare this as a major incident across Shropshire.

“Like everyone, we as an organisation, are also feeling the impact of the COVID-19 virus.

“However, please be assured that we are taking effective steps to mitigate this impact to ensure essential activities and services are maintained.

“I understand that this might temporarily alter our relationship with the public and our communities, and therefore I implore each and every one of you to adhere to the instructions given by government as it would be preferable not to have to take any enforcement action.

“However should it be required, we will take the necessary action as we must always make the safety of the vulnerable our priority.

“Please work with us, our partners, your neighbours and wider communities to overcome the challenges we all face during the next few weeks with patience, compassion and understanding.

“We are here 24/7 and will respond to you as and when you need us but we have today moved to a more critical level of policing in our force and some functions will have to reduce.

“We understand that these new restrictions will also place added pressure and strain on families and individuals but there is support for you.

“If you feel threatened or in danger, or you need the police for any reason we are on the end of the phone.

“Keep looking after each other and together we will be successful through this difficult time.”