West Mercia Police requires improvement

West Mercia Police has made improvements in some areas, but further changes are needed, the police inspectorate has said.

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of West Mercia Police

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) graded West Mercia Police’s performance across eight areas of policing and found the force was ‘good’ in one area, ‘adequate’ in four areas and ‘requires improvement’ in three areas.

HMICFRS said the areas requiring improvement included how the force responds to the public, how it supervises and investigates crime, the effectiveness of force IT and the accuracy of its data.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams said:

“I am satisfied with some aspects of the performance of West Mercia Police, but there are areas where the force needs to improve.

“West Mercia Police has invested in all its operational policing areas, and improvements are evident in aspects such as community policing and the management of offenders and suspects. But there are still improvements needed, particularly in crime investigation and public protection.

“Despite the force’s efforts to improve, too many of its serious investigations are inadequately supervised and not sufficiently effective. This is resulting in a poor service to some victims of crime.

“Several departments reported understaffing, which can affect workplace wellbeing. The force’s information technology systems are unreliable, leading to poor service and inefficient working practices.

“The force plans to improve its technical and data capabilities, refresh its operating model and develop its workforce. This will provide a firm foundation for continued operational improvements, and I look forward to seeing progress in these areas over the coming year.”

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PEEL 2021/22 – An inspection of West Mercia Police


  1. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.
  2. In 2014, we introduced our police effectiveness, efficiency, and legitimacy (PEEL) inspections, which assess the performance of all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Since then, we have been continuously adapting our approach and this year has seen the most significant changes yet.
  3. We are moving to a more intelligence-led, continual assessment approach, rather than the annual PEEL inspections we used in previous years. We have also changed our approach to graded judgments. We now assess forces against the characteristics of good performance, and we more clearly link our judgments to causes of concern and areas for improvement.
  4. We have also expanded our previous four-tier system of judgments to five tiers. As a result, we can state more precisely where we consider improvement is needed and highlight more effectively the best ways of doing things.
  5. However, these changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between the grades awarded this year with those from previous PEEL inspections. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, does not necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
  6. More information about the new PEEL assessment framework 2021/22 is available on our website