A NEW policing commander has pledged to continue the protect the public and tackle "difficult issues" affecting people across South Worcestershire.

Superintendent Damian Pettit has been appointed in South Worcestershire to help deliver local policing across the West Mercia and Warwickshire Police alliance.

He began his new role on Monday, May 21 taking over from Superintendent Kevin Purcell, who was recently promoted to Chief Superintendent for the Shropshire and Telford policing areas.

Speaking about the new role, Supt Damian Pettit, said: "I am proud to be appointed to lead such a fantastic policing team, which is committed to keeping people safe and solving issues that are affecting our communities, in partnership.

"I will continue the strong ethos of providing access to police when the public need us, as well as tackling difficult issues affecting people in south Worcestershire so it remains a safe, vibrant and pleasant place to live, work and enjoy."

Chief Superintendent Mark Travis added: "I am delighted Damian has remained with the team as he moves into his new rank to support local policing in Worcestershire. Damian brings with him a variety of skills including safeguarding, local policing and investigations and, as Kevin leaves, Damian will continue to implement the new policing model."

In his previous rank as a Chief Inspector, Superintendent Pettit operated across north Worcester as part of the command team and as Wyre Forest District Commander, he was responsible for managing operations across Safer Neighbourhood Teams and patrols, emergency calls for assistance, and working with communities to solve problems and issues affecting them.

As Chief Inspector, he also managed large scale change projects within West Mercia Police and with partners. In addition, he previously worked as Detective Chief Inspector where he was responsible for safeguarding vulnerable people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.