West Mercia Police

Former PC found guilty of gross misconduct

A former West Mercia Police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct while serving on the force.

In October, Laura Lawson admitted assaulting a 17-year-old boy while attending a disturbance in Rugby in 2017 and was given a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Worcester Crown Court.

At a hearing at the Hindlip headquarters yesterday, Lawson was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour amounting to gross misconduct and was told she would have been sacked, had she not already resigned.

The West Mercia Head of Professional Standards, Supt Helena Bennett, said: "A serving police officer receiving a criminal conviction for assault brings discredit on the force and is completely unacceptable when we are responsible for protecting the public from harm."

Knife crime: Self-defence classes in Redditch schools
A self-defence instructor is visiting schools to teach teens how to spot scenarios before they escalate.

Thousands of crime suspects released without conditions

BBC Midlands Today

An investigation by BBC Midlands Today has revealed thousands of suspects in Staffordshire have been released without bail conditions.

Police officers
Getty Images

Two years ago, a 28-day limit on police bail came into force in England and Wales to stop police bailing suspects for extended periods of time without resolution, following a series of high-profile cases.

In Staffordshire, the BBC's found 7,732 have instead been “released under investigation” between April 2017 and December 2018, with no conditions imposed.

The Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, Gareth Morgan, is critical of the changes, saying overall they haven’t delivered confidence in the system for victims.

The Home Office says it's working with the National Police Chief’s Council to make sure bail conditions are used "where appropriate".

Confidential police advice line launched

A new victim advice line is being launched across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

West Mercia Police car
BBC

Callers will be provided with a dedicated care co-ordinator when they use the free and confidential service, says West Mercia Police.

Lines will be open from 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays.

Assault sentencing 'perverse' says police chief

A police chief has labelled perverse an alleged discrepancy in the sentences for attackers in high-profile assaults and those who target emergency workers.

Ch Supt Kevin Purcell of West Mercia Police commented after the jailing of a man over an egg attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Under a new law, maximum prison terms for people found guilty of common assault against emergency workers are to double from six months to a year.

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