West Mercia Police

Knife bins to be set up across three counties

Bins are going to be set up across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Monday, for people to surrender their knives.

West Mercia Police says it's aimed at reducing the amount of knife crime, but while the knives can be left anonymously, an investigation might be carried out if they are found to have been used in a crime.

Knives
Getty Images

The knife bins will be found at the Kidderminster, Worcester, Redditch, Shrewsbury, Hereford and Telford police stations.

They will be there for one week.

Police forces look for 'amicable split'

The West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces say they're working out the terms of their "amicable and negotiated separation" after West Mercia decided to pull out of their "strategic alliance".

But the Warwickshire force is looking for its neighbours to meet the costs of the divorce and said: "The alliance agreement is clear that the party which terminates the agreement is liable to pay the other party’s reasonable costs."

Police badges
BBC

Warwickshire Police said there was "considerable work to transition out of the current alliance arrangements".

And it said 80% of the services they had been sharing were currently based in the West Mercia force area and would have to be re-established in Warwickshire, which it said could take time.

West Merica could get more than 300 extra officers

West Mercia Police could get up to 360 extra officers, as a result of greater government funding, the Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

John Campion said it was a very rough estimate, based on Chancellor Sajid Javid's spending pledge of £750m for 20,000 police officers for the UK.

John Campion
West Mercia PCC

Mr Campion said the estimate of between 300 and 360 extra officers was based on current spending, but if the government gives priorities to other forces, he might have to fight for a "fairer share" of the money.

Last autumn, West Mercia Police announced it was recruiting an extra 100 officers and in February it confirmed it would hire another 115 on top of that.

All 215 of those recruits should have started work by December this year.

'Gangs exploiting reduced-hours pupils'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Schoolchildren who are given reduced timetables because of behaviour problems are at greater risk of being recruited by criminal gangs than those who are excluded from the classroom, West Mercia's deputy police and crime commissioner says.

At a meeting with the force, Tracey Onslow said gangs were likely to avoid those who were permanently excluded because they would be on "the radar" of local authorities.

Classroom
Getty Images

Ms Onslow suggested councils should do more to monitor children on part-time timetables and that the police needed to work closely with schools to engage with those students.

Three-quarters of cannabis users 'avoid prosecution'

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Fewer than one in four cannabis users caught by police in Herefordshire and Worcestershire end up being prosecuted, BBC Hereford and Worcester's discovered.

Bag of cannabis
BBC

Figured obtain through a Freedom of Information request show 23% of 1,114 offences in 2018-19 resulted in court action.

West Mercia Police says its focus is on "large scale dealing" and cannabis plants.

The force added officers have discretionary powers to issue a "cannabis warning" instead of pursuing prosecution, when appropriate.

'Hero' police dog to receive bravery award

A police dog who was brutally knifed while trying to protecting his dog handler is to be awarded a medal for bravery.

Mike Davey with Bacca
PA

PD Bacca, now retired from West Mercia Police, was slashed in the head eight times and PC Mike Davey suffered a deep cut to his hand.

Both have made a full recovery following last June's attack in Bromyard, Herefordshire

Bacca is being presented with the PDSA's Gold Medal - which the charity regards as the animal equivalent of the George Cross - in a ceremony at Birmingham Repertory Theatre later.

'Hero' police dog and handler to get bravery award

Handcuffed man sprayed with incapacitant spray while on the toilet

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Carmelo Garcia

Two West Mercia Police officers have been given written warnings a handcuffed man was sprayed with an incapacitant spray while he was partially naked and on the toilet.

Police officer
BBC

The officers discharged the spray at close range on a man in Baschurch in July last year after responding to a call he was threatening to kill a family member, the hearing heard.

The hearing also hear PC Philips sprayed the man again while he was being walked barefoot to the police van.

PC Sharon Phillips and PC Simon Wilkey were found to have breached the force's professional standards at a public misconduct hearing last week.

Both officers were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, use of force, orders and instructions and discreditable conduct.

'Hero' police dog and handler to get bravery award
Bacca the dog was slashed in the head eight times and PC Mike Davey suffered a deep cut to his hand.