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Officer who helped lead roll out of tasers announces retirement

West Mercia chief to step down in September after 30 years
Published - 18/03/2021 By - Gary Mason

The chief officer who played a leading role in the UK roll out of taser has announced his retirement after 30 years service.

West Mercia chief constable Anthony Bangham also helped initiate the controversial ‘divorce’ from neighbouring force Warwickshire after a seven year collaboration agreement in order to give a better service and deliver “value for money” to local people. The move was fiercely opposed by the UK’s smallest force who felt let down by the split.

CC Bangham who is also NPCC lead for Roads Policing will leave in September having spent the majority of his career in the force having joined as a PC in Redditch in 1991.

He spent one period of his service outside the force as an ACC with Avon and Somerset before returning in 2014.

Although he describes one of his greatest achievements as reintroducing cadets to Avon and Somerset - establishing eight schemes with more than 200 cadets across their force area.

He is also a Co-Director for the Police National Assessment Centre working with the College of Policing to support Fast-Track, Direct Entry and senior appointments to Chief Officers.

As a superintendent he worked nationally with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the police use of firearms and played a leading role in co-ordinating the roll-out of the use of Taser in the UK.

He is also the NPCC lead for Roads Policing, a busy portfolio with eight chief officers supporting him and leading on such matters as police pursuits, enforcement, motorcycles, pedal cycles, police vehicle fleet, operations and intelligence.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said:  “As Chief Constable he has been a determined leader in challenging times. He has taken brave, and sometimes difficult decisions, but his focus has always been the best interests of his police force and the communities they serve, rather than what was easiest or most convenient”

One of those decisions was to initiate the end of the long standing partnership agreement with Warwickshire with strong support from PCC Campion.

In a sometimes bitter row which required intervention from the Home Secretary they accused Warwickshire of holding their force “to ransom” over the agreement and said that while the smaller force had a 50-50 say on governance it contributed less than a third to the collaboration in terms of resources.

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