Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion expressed shock at the grading of West Mercia Police's response to serious and organised crime as inadequate by HMICFRS.

The evaluation comes after an inspection conducted in 2023 by the HMICFRS.

This assessment not only brings disappointment but also prompts West Mercia police to create an improvement plan to mend the situation.

PCC John Campion said: "Organised crime groups operating across West Mercia routinely target the most vulnerable people in our society.

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"The impact of this crime is devastating and is felt not only by victims, but also entire communities."

While he acknowledges the ongoing efforts of officers, he insisted that "more needs to be done by building stronger partnerships to prevent serious organised crime from happening in the first place."

Furthermore, he expressed that the report's verdict is "deeply disappointing and not what I or the public expect."

Over the past six years, since the previous inspection, Mr Campion has raised the force's capabilities in handling serious and organised crimes.

This mission saw him conducting 16 formal assurance and accountability sessions with three different Chief Constables, where feedback and improvements were discussed and implemented.

In tandem with these efforts, significant funding has been facilitated to assist West Mercia Police in disrupting criminal operations and executing targeted strategies.

Substantial investments have also been directed towards putting victims first, as well as interventions to steer young people away from crime.

In a continuance of his statement, Mr Campion added: "Eleven months on from the HMICFRS inspection, I am reassured that West Mercia Police has been making significant progress including the creation of an improvement plan.

"Whilst its clear action needs to be taken to address the concerns raised in the report, the extended period of time it takes to publish the report does mean the situation has moved on and no longer represents where the force is now.

“I welcome the plan set out by the Chief Constable. However, I have been very clear that progress to deliver change will be a focus of regular and intense scrutiny, as I expect the force to continue delivering improvements to its response to serious and organised crime.”