Five candidates are vying to be elected in two weeks’ time as West Mercia’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), responsible for setting the policing priorities for Herefordshire and neighbouring counties.

The current PCC John Campion is once again the Conservatives’ candidate. He has said that the number of police officers in the West Mercia force has hit record levels of over 2,500 on his watch.

He has made the “safe and timely” licencing of firearms to individuals a priority – an issue which also has the backing of North Herefordshire’s Conservative MP Sir Bill Wiggin.


The English Democrats’ Henry Curties, a Shrewsbury-based jewellery manufacturer, is campaigning on the slogan “More Police - catching criminals!” and would counter the rise of police investigating “thought crimes” and chasing diversity targets.

Coun Julian Dean, Green Party group leader on Shropshire Council, has said that if elected he would focus on giving environmental and wildlife crime a higher police priority.

“Policing and justice shouldn’t only be about people and property,” he said. “Environmental justice should be the third leg of that stool.”


Worcester city councillor Sarah Murray, the Liberal Democrats’ PCC candidate, said she “would like to tackle the misogyny in the police force, which I have witnessed”.

“After Wayne Couzens and other cases, people’s confidence in the police needs to be restored,” she said.

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Among Labour candidate Richard Overton’s priorities are “to put more bobbies on the beat” and bring in new rapid-response teams to counter anti-social behaviour and crime hotspots.

Voting will take place across the West Mercia area on May 2 between 7am and 10pm.

West Mercia police has a budget of £285 million for the current financial year, up £11 million on last year.