THE region’s police and crime commissioner has hit out at workforce figures used in a police efficiency report.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said the figures outlining current and projected workforce numbers for West Mercia Police were 'incorrect and misleading'.

The assessment by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) looked at efficiency and leadership in West Mercia Police.

A footnote in the report reads that workforce figures – particularly those that involve alliances between other forces – will likely be skewed and do not correctly reflect the workforce.

Mr Campion said: “The figures outlined in the HMICFRS efficiency report are incorrect and misleading.

“They do not take into account West Mercia’s innovative alliance with Warwickshire and how costs are shared between the two police forces.

As a result, Mr Campion called the figures 'inaccurate and unhelpful' and has raised the issue with HMICFRS.

“When you factor the alliance into the equation, the picture in West Mercia is nowhere near what HMICFRS suggest,” he added.

“However, even after the necessary corrections are made, what we are talking about here are merely projections.

“No new operating models have been confirmed, nor will they be, until financial decisions are made in due course both nationally and locally

“I am clear that I will support the Chief Constable to prioritise resources towards the frontline, sustaining the visible community policing that our communities expect and deserve.

The report rated West Mercia Police as ‘good’ in terms of efficiency, and described the PCC’s investments in technology as an ‘ambitious and innovative change'.

The force was also praised for the way it understands hidden harms and analyses trends in public demand, in order to allocate resources to where they are most needed.

Further positive comments touched on the force’s handling of emergency responses, commitment to leadership development and partnership working with other agencies.

Areas for improvement included the 101 service, and understanding the demand of protective and investigative policing work.

Mr Campion said: “I promised to deliver a police service which works efficiently for the communities of West Mercia, and this report is a pleasing reflection of what I see on a day to day basis, although clear improvements can still be made.

“The investments I have made to reform West Mercia Police through technology, will continue to make West Mercia Police more efficient, improving the service to the public and ensuring our communities get the help they need at the right time.

“We have good foundations to build on, and I am reassured that the police are committed to making further improvements.”