THE region’s police and crime commissioner is “seeking assurance” that West Mercia Police has helped victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PCC John Campion is to ask Chief Constable Anthony Bangham for assurances the force’s response to domestic abuse if as good as it can be. He is also going to ask that where improvements are needed, a “robust plan for implementation” is in place.

The discussions come as the latest in Mr Campion’s “Holding to Account” sessions with the chief, held regularly to ask questions of them.

Mr Campion said: “We have seen a worrying increase in people seeking advice and support from organisations like West Mercia Women’s Aid.

“This is an indication that incidences of domestic abuse have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. I will be seeking reassurance from the force that they are delivering the right service to domestic abuse victims.

“This means calls being handled correctly, officers having the correct training in place to offer the best support, and that accurate information is being captured to provide the best intelligence.

“It is my job as commissioner to make sure the voice of our communities is heard and represented at the highest level of policing, and to make sure that the investment I have made in services is producing the right outcomes for the public.”

Worryingly, domestic abuse makes up a quarter of all reported crime across West Mercia, and this is mirrored across the rest of the UK. Despite reports of domestic abuse to the police remaining largely static over last year (compared to the previous year) advice sought from organisations like West Mercia Women’s Aid have increased.

You can view the minutes and actions for West Mercia Police arising from the Holding to Account sessions on the PCC’s website: