West Mercia Police, formerly known as West Mercia Constabulary, is the territorial police force responsible for policing the counties of Shropshire (including Telford and Wrekin), Herefordshire and Worcestershire in England. The force area covers 2,868 square miles (7,430 km2) making it the fourth largest police area in England and Wales. The resident population of the area is 1.19 million.
The force is divided into five divisions and represent a very wide spread of policing environments from densely populated urban conurbations on the edge of Birmingham and the city of Worcester to sparsely populated rural areas found in the rest of the force area.
As of March 2010, the force employs 2367 police officers, 277 Police Community Support Officers, 1540 police staff and 288 members of the Special Constabulary. West Mercia is Home Office force 22 and call sign YK.
In 2005 the police force was rated the best of the Home Office forces in England and Wales by the government.
The force has its headquarters in the historical manor house and grounds of Hindlip Hall on the outskirts of the city of Worcester. Its logo combines the heraldry of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.
The force was formed on 1 October 1967, by the merger of the Worcestershire Constabulary, Herefordshire Constabulary, Shropshire Constabulary and Worcester City Police. It lost territory to West Midlands Police when that was constituted on 1 April 1974. It changed its name from "West Mercia Constabulary" to "West Mercia Police" on 5 May 2009.
West Mercia is a partner, alongside two other forces, in the Central Motorway Police Group.
Paul West, QPM, who retired as Chief Constable on 31 July 2011 is the longest serving Chief Constable in the force's history. He was succeeded by his Deputy Chief Constable, David Shaw, who took up the senior post on 1 August 2011.
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