Our Service Standards
We are West Midlands Police. We prevent crime, protect the public and help those in need. At the heart of everything we do, we always see the person needing our help.
We believe that you have the right to know what you can expect from us. We have high standards* but know that we can always do better. Our Service Standards make sure this is possible.
We aim to make our services accessible for everybody to use. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need an interpreter or other reasonable adjustments.
*As an emergency service at times we may not be able to meet our standards. That’s because we’re dealing with an exceptional emergency. If this happens we will always do our best to keep you informed.
What to expect when you contact us?
If you contact us in an emergency
- aim to answer emergency 999 calls within 10 seconds
- ask questions so we can better understand your situation
- tell you what to do until officers arrive
- aim to attend within 15 minutes if an emergency response is needed
- give you accurate timescales on when we will arrive
- update you if our arrival time changes because of other emergencies
If you contact us about a non-emergency
- aim to answer your live chat or 101 call within three minutes. Wait times may increase during peak times if we’re dealing with a number of critical emergencies*.
- ask questions so we can better understand your situation
- give you advice and support to help you. If you contact us about something which is not a policing matter, we will find you a service who can help.
If you report an incident online
- safely and securely record your report
- treat your online report to the same standard of care as if it was reported by live chat or phone
- acknowledge your report and give you an incident number
- email you with case updates
When you write to us by post or email
- respond within five working days. If this is not possible, we will contact you within five working days to let you know why and when you can expect an update
- give you a response that is professional, accurate and easy to understand
When you visit us
- provide clean, tidy and safe public spaces
- give you a friendly and professional welcome
- provide a space for you to talk to us privately, if you need it
- see you within 15 minutes you have an appointment
- connect you with an interpreter by phone if needed
- provide leaflets with safety and security advice
If you contact us about a policing matter through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WMNow
- acknowledge your message within five working days
- offer you advice to help you with your question including how to report your matter online
If you’ve reported something to us
When we attend an incident
- aim to be at the incident within 15 minutes for emergencies where a crime is taking place or a life is in danger
- aim to arrive within one hour if your case is a priority but we need to investigate or collect evidence quickly and there is no immediate risk to the safety of you or others
- aim to arrive within 24 hours if your case is not an emergency but we need to investigate or collect evidence and there is no immediate risk to the safety of you or others
- explain how your incident will be progressed and why
- give you a reference number and the name and contact details of the officer who attended
- offer you advice and support
- give you contact details of other services who can support you
If we need to collect evidence
- contact you within 24 hours of your first call to arrange a visit from the forensics team
- advise you on any steps you need to take to preserve evidence
- explain what we are going to do when we arrive at the scene
- give you advice and support
If we need to investigate further
- contact you within a maximum of seven days of your crime being recorded and give you details of the investigating officer who will be your point of contact during the investigation
- agree a contact plan with you as to how and when we will update you throughout the investigation
- keep you updated on what is happening with your investigation in line with your agreed contact plan
- explain the outcome of the investigation. If we are not investigating further we will clearly explain the reason why
- tell you within a maximum of five days if anyone has been arrested, charged or cautioned as part of our investigation
- give you details of relevant organisations who can offer ongoing support to you and others affected by the incident
If you need to go to court
- explain what will happen and support you through the process.
- offer help from other organisations which are suited to your needs
- explain what the court can do to support you when you give your evidence
- tell you what happened at court within three days of the court case
- contact you within five days of your first call
- keep you updated about the progress we and others are doing to improve the situation
If we need to question you
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) codes of practice explains your rights during:
- stop and search (Code A 2015)
- arrest (Code G 2012)
- detention (Code C 2019)
- investigation (Code B 2013)
- identification processes (Code D 2017)
- interview (Code E 2018 and Code F 2018)
Each code also explains the powers we have during each process.
Stop and search
What happens during a stop and search
Stop and search is a legal power police have to perform as part of their job to protect others. If you are stopped and searched it does not mean you’ve been arrested.
You can read about the process of stop and search on our website.
Your rights during a stop and search
An officer must explain to you:
- why you have been stopped and searched
- their name or ID collar number
- the police station where they are based
- the law under which you’ve been stopped
- your right to a copy of a form
The officer is expected to:
- listen to you
- treat you with dignity and respect
- listen to you without any judgement
- be kind and caring
- be honest and fair
- be professional
After a stop and search we will:
- ask if you want a copy of any record of the stop and search
- give you details on how you can access a copy of the record
If you want to feedback about your stop and search
If you tell us how we are doing
Good or bad, you can tell us how we’re doing. If we’ve not met our standards, let us know so we can improve.
What happens after you make a complaint?
- We will acknowledge that we’ve received your complaint as quickly as possible.
- If we can resolve your complaint immediately we will do this and explain what we have done.
- If we cannot resolve your complaint immediately we will send it to the Professional Standards Department (PSD). PSD will log your complaint and write to you explaining what they have done and give you a reference number.
What happens if you are unhappy with the outcome?
If you are unhappy about the action we have taken you can revisit your complaint with the Professional Standards Department. They will record your allegations and assess what further action needs to be taken.
If your complaint needs further action a new complaint handler, who is not connected to your complaint will look into it. If they need more information they will get in touch and answer any questions you may have.
For some complaints, we will carry out an investigation. We will explain to you how we investigated your complaint and reached the final decision. We will agree a contact plan with you and keep you updated.
We will always write to you to tell you the outcome of your complaint. If you are unhappy with the decision we will explain how you can request a review.
Certain complaints will be sent to the ombudsman, the Independent Office of Police Complaints (IOPC) for review. They will decide on whether they need to investigate your complaint. These complaints relate to:
- death or serious injury (broken bones)
- serious assault
- serious sexual offences
- offences that would result in a custodial sentence of more than seven years
- complaints against the Chief Constable or serious corruption.
If this happens the IOPC and PSD will keep you informed of what is likely to happen.