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26th Jun, 2022

FORCE FOCUS: Christmas message from PCC David Jamieson

AS we draw towards the Christmas break it feels right to pause for a moment and look back on the achievements and challenges of 2018.

There’s no escaping the fact it has been a tough 12 months, but the successes the force has had are entirely down to our hard working police officers, staff, PCSOs and volunteers who work around the clock to uphold the rule of law, 365 days a year.

There are, of course, many things my office can be proud of too.

I have led a national campaign to tackle the growing problem of car crime.

It would appear keyless technology has made motoring convenient for the thief, as well as the driver.

In April I called a meeting with six of the major car manufacturers to demand they worked faster to stop their vehicles being pinched from people’s driveways.

Violent crime is an issue that naturally worries us all.

That is why I am spending the £2million I made available to help tackle the problem of gangs and violence.

It’s meant we’ve been able to put youth workers in A&E departments to identify young people who may have found themselves victims of unreported violent crime.

It has also paid for mentoring in schools and programmes to divert young people away from trouble.

But, as always, there have been plenty of challenges along the way.

The number of crimes recorded continues to rise.

It’s well documented that violent crime is committed more frequently than it was a few years ago.

This year it has jumped by a fifth. Knife crime rose by 17% and we have had a total of 20 fatal stabbings

As crime rises we feel the stretch on resources more acutely. Since 2010 we’ve lost £175million and more than 2000 officers.

Despite driving efficiencies we had hoped for a cash injection from government this year.

There were a number of opportunities. We didn’t get one.

I think we can all agree, these are challenging times.

But we are lucky too. We have a police force with the most committed and determined workforce in the country.

Not only that, but the West Midlands is filled with communities who want to go out of their way, time and time again, to help do their bit and stand up against those that seek to do us harm.

On Christmas Day this year, I for one will raise a glass to them.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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