New police boss wants more bobbies on the beat

By Ian Dipple Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 15:05

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Buy photos » Bill Longmore has begun work as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia. (s)

WEST Mercia’s new Police and Crime Commissioner has vowed to put more bobbies on the beat by ensuring officers spend less time in the office doing paperwork and more time on the streets.

Speaking to The Standard ahead of taking up his new role today (Thursday), Bill Longmore said talking to residents during his campaign had shown many people were concerned about a lack of uniformed presence in their communities.

And the 72-year-old, who was officially elected last Friday (November 16), said he wanted to meet with Chief Constable David Shaw as soon as possible to address the issue.

“We need to sit down and see what we can come up with to get more police officers patrolling, even if it is for short periods, as people are saying they are not seeing police on the beat and hopefully we can satisfy some of their wishes,” he said.

Mr Longmore revealed he would also be using £20,000 of his £75,000 salary to set-up a charitable trust to help prevent crime and support victims. The former Staffordshire Police officer said he hoped over time businesses would add to the fund and he wanted to create a committee of volunteers to do extra fund-raising.

“If you prevent crime, there is less of it and less need to spend money on it,” he said.

“As this develops over the years and is established, it may be able to do a lot of good for all sections of society in West Mercia.”

Mr Longmore won a convincing victory in last Thursday’s poll (November 15) beating Conservative candidate Adrian Blackshaw by 17,456 votes in the second round of counting after Labour’s Simon Murphy had been eliminated in round one, although less than 15 per cent of people in West Mercia voted.

But Mr Longmore rejected the idea he did not have a strong enough endorsement to carry out the role and aimed to prove his worth by getting out and about into communities across the force area.

“The position is here to stay and I will try to make a good job of it during my four years in office so at the next election people will feel I have made a difference, they can see it is worthwhile having a commissioner and are willing to go to the polls and elect someone.”

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