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There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us in the West Midlands. None of us could have expected going into this year that we would be faced with a pandemic which would change all of our lives.

This is not the Christmas we wanted. Over the coming weeks, with new restrictions in place to keep people safe and to stop the spread of the virus, it is key that people follow the rules.

It has been a difficult year for crime in the West Midlands as well, although there have been some positives, such as burglaries falling by a quarter. Robberies and vehicle thefts have fallen as well. But this year has also seen a huge rise when it comes to domestic abuse. Reports to the police have risen by 37% and some of our specialist charities who support victims have seen calls to them increase by more than 500%.

The impact lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions have had has been wide ranging and have left many feeling isolated and lonely. Especially those in households where violence is common.

My message to victims is that help is out there for you. There is never an excuse for abuse and West Midlands Police will prioritise these crimes.

Whilst many of us are taking a rest over Christmas, I would also like to pay tribute to those who will be working over Christmas and the festive period. The police officers and staff, 999 call handlers and all those who are working all year round to keep us all safe.

As we look forwards into 2021, hopefully we will be able to spend some time with our families and those we care about as we see the vaccine for COVID-19 rolled out. I hope you have a restful period and keep safe over Christmas.  

-David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

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