THE West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has described Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMICFRS) report, published this week, as a “pleasing reflection” of the region’s police force.

However, he hit out at figures that outline the current and projected workforce numbers for West Mercia Police in the report as 'incorrect and misleading'.

The assessment by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) looked at efficiency and leadership in West Mercia Police.

The report, released on Thursday, assessed the constabulary as ‘good’ in terms of efficiency and described PCC John Campion’s investments in technology as an “ambitious and innovative change”.

The report said the constabulary “has a good understanding of current and likely future demand and continually assesses its ability to respond effectively”.

Its strategic alliance with Warwickshire Police was described as “a strength that has enabled both forces to make considerable savings”.

Upcoming developments, including new control rooms, as well as advances in technology, were described as “timely” in the report due to “operational pressures” which have led to “inefficient processes for call-handling and crime management”.

It went on to say: “The force is refining its new investigative model to improve how it manages crimes and transfer of investigations to officers with the right skills.”

However, the report showed the constabulary has seen a 16 per cent drop in its workforce since 2010, which is one per cent more than on a national level.

However, a footnote says workforce figures – particularly those that involve alliances between other forces – will likely be skewed and do not correctly reflect the workforce.

Mr Campion said: “The figures outlined in the HMICFRS efficiency report are incorrect and misleading.

“They do not take into account West Mercia’s innovative alliance with Warwickshire and how costs are shared between the two police forces."

Mr Campion said he had raised the issue with HMICFRS, adding: “When you factor the alliance into the equation, the picture in West Mercia is nowhere near what HMICFRS suggest."

Mr Campion said they were merely projections and added: “No new operating models have been confirmed, nor will they be, until financial decisions are made in due course both nationally and locally.

“I am clear that I will support the Chief Constable to prioritise resources towards the frontline, sustaining the visible community policing that our communities expect and deserve."

Areas for improvement included the 101 service, and understanding the demand of protective and investigative policing work.

Mr Campion added: “I promised to deliver a police service which works efficiently for the communities of West Mercia, and this report is a pleasing reflection of what I see on a day to day basis, although clear improvements can still be made."

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of the constabulary since 2014.