WEST Mercia Police (WMP) is doing some "effective work" to tackle domestic abuse but there are "several areas for improvement", a report has found.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report, published today, states that thousands of people across the UK are being let down because of widespread police failure to effectively tackle domestic abuse.

Out of all of the areas covered by WMP - Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin - Herefordshire last year saw the biggest increase in domestic abuse.

The report states that in the force area, domestic abuse accounts for five per cent of calls to the
police for assistance and of these calls, 20 per cent were from repeat victims.

It also found that for every 100 domestic abuse crimes recorded, there were 45 arrests in West
Mercia. For most forces the number is between 45 and 90.

It went on to say that West Mercia recorded 4,859 domestic abuse related crimes for the 12 months to the end of August 2013. Of these crimes, 41 per cent resulted in a charge, 13 per cent resulted in a caution and, 6 per cent had an out of court disposal, for example, a fixed penalty notice for disorderly conduct.

In order to combat domestic abuse more effectively, the report suggested a number of improvements that should be made, including providing officers with mobile equipment to capture early photographic evidence at incidents and that it should be identified what domestic abuse training is required across the force.

For more on this story, see next Thursday's Hereford Times.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, call West Mercia Women's Aid on 0800 783 1359 or West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre on 0870 2422230.