Walker pays tribute to West Mercia Police after a challenging but successful weekend for Worcester

Robin Walker, the City’s local MP has publicly thanked the West Mercia Police for their incredible hard work and support, after a difficult weekend for Worcester.

Sadly, Worcester has been in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons following an appalling acid attack on a child over the weekend. The boy was taken to hospital with serious burns to his arm and face. He has since been discharged but the long-term implications of his injuries are unknown at this time. The appalling crime took place after the police already faced a range of challenges with public order relating a far right march in the city, which appear to be entirely unrelated to this incident.

Thanks to the very quick work of the Police and the support of the public: four men are now in custody, who are suspected of attacking the boy on Saturday afternoon in the Shrub Hill Retail Park in Worcester. A 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested on Sunday and a further three men were arrested in London on Monday. Today Robin has been paying tribute to the West Mercia Police, and for their brave, calm, and effective handling of some very challenging situations. Robin also thanked the public and the City’s community for their strong support, and called on the City’s residents to come together and continue to support the Police in their inquiries.

Robin would also like to reassure constituents that whilst this attack is very upsetting, on the whole Worcester is a safe and peaceful city to live in.  South Worcestershire has seen falling rates for violent crime including a 25% fall in knife crime as the local police have cracked down on drug offences. Violent crimes of any sort are incredibly rare in Worcester, and it is a testament to the local community spirit, that people can collaboratively come together and help provide information in bringing the perpetrators of such terrible crime to justice so quickly.

Unfortunately in other parts of the UK: acid attacks have become more frequent, and this is why Robin strongly supports the Government’s Offensive Weapons Bill; currently going through Parliament, as one of its clauses is to introduce a new offense of possessing a corrosive substance in a public place. The Bill covers three types of weapon – acid, knives and firearms – and is the Government’s legislative response to a Home Office consultation that ran between October and December 2017.

Robin will be writing to the Home Secretary to relay his concerns over the incident in Worcester, call for tougher sentences for people using acid to attack anyone and to underline the appalling nature of this attack being on a child and he will continue to liaise with the Police to ensure that he is kept updated on their ongoing investigation, and any new developments.

Robin commented on the attack saying:

“Saturday’s attack was simply appalling. My first thoughts were, and still are, with the family of this child, but it’s vital that the public support the Police to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible. I am relieved that thanks to the hard work of our local police and the support of the public there have already been four arrests and I am hopeful that the perpetrators of such an unthinkable act are now going to face justice.”

“I stand ready to help any of my constituents, and I will be reaching out to the family affected to offer my help and support during this incredibly difficult time. My thoughts are with this child, and I also wish to thank the NHS first responders: who arrived at the scene quickly, and were there to help the child in very difficult and upsetting circumstances.”

“Not only did the Police have to deal with this heinous crime, but they were already dealing with the challenge of protests relating to a far right march in the city the same day. They worked tirelessly to keep Worcester’s residents safe, reassure communities and keep the peace. Many officers worked incredibly long hours and I am very thankful to them for their tremendous efforts. Unfortunately in the course of this work two officers were injured but I was relieved to hear that neither of them were seriously injured.”

“It cannot be said often enough how lucky we are to have such a dedicated police service in Worcestershire and this weekend’s events have demonstrated that they are both compassionate and effective. I have heard a great deal of praise for how the police have handled themselves in Worcester over the last forty eight hours and I think it is only right to add my own. We should continue to support them in their vital work just as they continue to support each and every community in Worcester.”

 Anyone with information about the incident, which took place at around 2.15pm, can ring the police on 999, quoting incident 442s of 21 July 2018.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

If you have any questions about this press release, then please call Robin’s London Office on 020 7219 7196.

For further information on West Mercia Police, please see:

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/

For Robin’s previous press releases on the Police in Worcester, please see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/?s=police

For further information on the Offensive Weapons Bill, please see:

https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/offensiveweapons.html

For the crime statistics for South Worcestershire see:

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/49407/South-Worcestershire-bucks-the-national-trend-in-knife-crime-rise