WEST Mercia Police "requires improvement" according to inspectors who have been looking at the force's effectiveness.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) has published its report on police effectiveness for West Mercia Police.

The overall judgement, following an inspection last September, was that the force requires improvement.

West Mercia Police chief constable Anthony Bangham, said: "West Mercia Police is committed to ensuring we are a highly effective police force and we clearly accept there are areas where we can strengthen our approach.

"Although we are disappointed that HMICFRS felt we had not responded well enough to previous recommendations, there were several examples in the inspection of positive work ongoing across the force area.

"This included recognition for the force's work to understand the signs of vulnerability and our investigations involving vulnerable people.

"We are pleased to see this, as it clearly reflects the force's aim to focus on protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"Accepting as an organisation we were not where we should have been last year in respect to the areas inspected, I am confident that significant focus has been given to addressing the areas highlighted by HMICFRS.

"We police a large geographic area with a diverse range of issues and concerns affecting our communities. Tackling and preventing crime can only be achieved by working in partnership with local people and partners. Therefore we have particularly focused our attention on strengthening this during the last six months, such as through the establishment of Serious Organised Crime Joint Action Groups.

"We now have much better partnership structures in place focused on identifying the specific issues in each community, working with the appropriate partners and addressing these using a range of approaches and tactics to disrupt and reduce criminal activity.

"In April this year, the force will introduce a refreshed policing model which will ensure a better alignment of our officers and staff to the times of highest demand for our services, ensuring we have the right people available, at the right time to deliver the best possible protection to our communities.

"This new model ensures clear focus on identifying criminal activity, arresting the offenders and protecting vulnerable victims. We will continue to work closely with all our communities to ensure we understand and prioritise the issues which concern them most.

"In addition, since our inspection, the force has also implemented new technology and systems, which ensure our officers and staff are better equipped with the best information to prevent and detect crime.

"We fully acknowledge that these are all areas identified by HMICFRS as requiring our focus and this is exactly what we have done.

"With the progress we have already made I am confident that we are comprehensively addressing all the HMICFRS's recommendations."