West Mercia Police
|West Mercia Police|
West Mercia Police Bell
West Mercia Police Badge
|Formed||1 October 1967|
|Annual budget||£203.6 million|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Police area of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire in the country of England, UK|
|Map of police area|
|Size||7,428 km²/2,868 sqmi|
|Legal jurisdiction||England & Wales|
|Constituting instrument||Police Act 1996|
|PCs||2,367 (of which 224 are special constables)|
|PCC responsible||John Paul Campion (Conservatives)|
|Child agency||Central Motorway Police Group, Central Counties Air Operations Unit|
|Territorial Policing Units|
|Helicopters||Single aircraft EC135 of the Central Counties Air Operations Unit|
|* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
West Mercia Police, formerly known as West Mercia Constabulary, is the territorial police force responsible for policing the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire (including Telford and Wrekin) and Worcestershire in England. The force area covers 2,868 square miles (7,430 km2) making it the fourth largest police area in England and Wales. The resident population of the area is 1.19 million.
The force is divided into five divisions and represent a very wide spread of policing environments from densely populated urban conurbations on the edge of Birmingham as well as Telford, Shrewsbury, and Worcester, to sparsely populated rural areas found in the rest of the force area.
As of June 2014, the force employs 2367 police officers, 283 police community support officers, 1779 police staff and 224 members of the special constabulary. West Mercia is Home Office force 22 and call sign YK.
The force has its headquarters in the historical manor house and grounds of Hindlip Hall on the outskirts of the city of Worcester. Its badge combines the heraldry of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.
The force was formed on 1 October 1967, by the merger of the Worcestershire Constabulary, Herefordshire Constabulary, Shropshire Constabulary and Worcester City Police. It lost territory to West Midlands Police when that was constituted on 1 April 1974. It changed its name from "West Mercia Constabulary" to "West Mercia Police" on 5 May 2009.
Paul West, QPM, who retired as chief constable on 31 July 2011 is the longest serving chief constable in the force's history. He was succeeded by his deputy chief constable, David Shaw, who took up the senior post on 1 August 2011.
Force area divisions
The force is organised into five territorial policing units (TPUs) which are alphabetically coded geographically from south to north (C D E F & G). Operating across three counties, West Mercia Police maintains many stations, with each TPU having an HQ Police station. The TPUs are further divided into Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs); there are 82 SNTs across the force.
Listed below are the TPUs and police stations maintained by the force:
C – South Worcestershire
- Worcester (TPU HQ / Custody)
- Tenbury Wells
West Mercia Police also owns Defford, formerly RAF Defford
D – North Worcestershire
- Kidderminster (TPU HQ / Custody)
E – Herefordshire
- Hereford (TPU HQ / Custody)
- South Hereford
F – Shropshire
(excluding Telford & Wrekin)
- Shrewsbury (Monkmoor) (TPU HQ / Custody)
- Shrewsbury (Town Centre)
- Bishops Castle
- Church Stretton
- Market Drayton
- Cleobury Mortimer
- Much Wenlock
G – Telford & Wrekin
Volunteer police cadets scheme
A volunteer cadet scheme had existed in the Telford division since the early 1990s and in September 2013, the scheme was expanded force-wide, creating a new detachment of police cadets in each Territorial Policing Unit area. Each detachment is headquartered in the respective TPU HQ, except the South Worcestershire detachment, which is based at Tudor Grange Academy.
In 2010, the Telford Cadets Detachment was awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
According to West Mercia Police's website, "The scheme is aimed at young people who wish to engage in a program that offers them an opportunity to gain a practical understanding of policing, develop their spirit of adventure and good citizenship, while supporting their local policing priorities through volunteering, working with partner agencies and positive participation in their communities."
A new intake of approximately 15 new cadets per detachment occurs annually. New recruits must be aged 16 or over and have finished secondary education. Young people can remain as cadets for up to two years. Cadets can then consider joining the force at age 18, becoming a cadet leader in their detachment, or leaving the scheme altogether.
Each detachment is led by several cadet leaders who are police officers, PCSOs and police volunteers from the force.
In November 2005, the government announced major reforms of policing in England and Wales, which raised the prospect of West Mercia Constabulary being merged with other forces in the West Midlands region.
Under final proposals made by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006, it would merge with Staffordshire Police, Warwickshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police to form a single strategic force for the West Midlands region. This came under particular criticism from West Mercia Constabulary, especially as it was rated the best force in the country. Instead, the constabulary wishes to remain a separate force. The proposals are also unpopular with many of the local authorities in the West Mercia area.
When Labour's John Reid became Home Secretary in 2006, he put plans to merge the forces on hold. The subsequent coalition and Conservative governments have not made any indication of re-introducing such plans.
In 2013 the West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces formed an alliance, sharing certain administrative functions in order to save both forces money.
- Policing Shropshire 1836–1967 by Douglas J. Elliott. Contains black and white plates, including illustration of badges as a frontispiece. Shropshire Police was amalgamated into the larger West Mercia Constabulary in 1967.
- West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner
- List of police forces in the United Kingdom
- Policing in the United Kingdom
- Road Policing Unit
- Police cadets in the United Kingdom
- "The West Mercia Environment | Joint Policing Plan 2010–13 | Our Publications | About Us". Westmercia.police.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
- Archived 28 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "West Mercia Police Authority". West Mercia Police Authority. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- "New Chief Constable Appointed To Succeed Paul West". West Mercia Police. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
- West Mercia Police Cadet website
- Detail from a copy of Policing Shropshire published by K A F Brewin Books in 1994 with ISBN 0-947731-01-6
- West Mercia Police
- West Mercia Police Authority
- "Police merger plans are unveiled". BBC News. 22 December 2005. Retrieved 2 December 2005.
- "Police mergers outlined by Clarke". BBC News. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2006.
- "Concern as police merger dropped". BBC News. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2006.