Police & Crime Bulletin April 2020

Find the latest information on the coronavirus response

Click here for the latest update on the COVID-19 response

In response to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, here are a few useful links and updates with the latest information. Click the button above to a link to my website where information will be more regularly updated.

Getting in touch with Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is asking you to please only call 999 if it is an emergency and 101 if it is urgent. If you can, use their online services on the Thames Valley Police website.

For more information on coronavirus and policing, head to the Thames Valley Police coronavirus webpage. In addition, you can tell the police about a possible breach of coronavirus measures online where you can also find out about the new police powers.

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is currently operating during normal working hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Please use the following contact details to get in touch with us:

  • If you have a general enquiry for the Police and Crime Commissioner, email pcc@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk. (Please note, our general contact phoneline is not currently being answered due to staff working remotely.)
  • Victims First - as we are currently working with limited capacity due to Covid-19 we are asking that anyone needing support from Victims First please make a referral using our online form: https://www.victims-first.org.uk/. Please provide the email address and contact number for the person needing support and a Victims First Officer will contact them.
  • For information on the proper procedure for making a complaint, please visit our Reporting Concerns webpage.

You can also keep up-to-date with news from PCC's office on social media:

Further updates

Links to further updates from the PCC, Thames Valley Police as well as links to other organisations can all be found on my website. In addition of course please follow by TwitterFacebook and sign up for my email newsletters.

 

Emergency funding applications set to close on Monday!

At the end of last month the Police and Crime Commissioner announced a new grant round of the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF) as an emergency response to the impact of coronavirus.

The Fund is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from the sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, including seizures from criminals.

The next round of the PPAF would not normally be available until the summer however it is being opened early in the hope that it can support organisations across the Thames Valley who are in urgent need because of the impact of coronavirus.

The closing date for this round of applications is 12pm Monday 20th April and applications will be considered jointly by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Chief Constable.

Further information and the application form can be found at: https://www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/police-property-act-fund/

 

Continuing to fight domestic abuse

People across the UK have been given advice to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus pandemic. However, for those who are at risk of domestic abuse, we know that this may have caused anxiety and fear. For some adults and children, the new regulations mean that they are with their abuser for longer.

Thames Valley Police wants to remind the public that the force will never tolerate domestic abuse. We are available 24/7 to provide help and support.

In an emergency, people should always call 999. If you can’t speak, call 999 and then dial 55. This is called the Silent Solution, and the call taker will sensitively manage the police response.

Whilst the government’s advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, is still able to leave and seek refuge.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber said “Home does not feel like a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and in these uncertain times, I would like to assure victims that support through Victims First and other contracted service providers is available for those that need it.  Services have been adapted in line with Government advice to ensure that we can continue to meet victims’ needs.

“Anyone experiencing domestic abuse and needing support can contact one of the Thames Valley domestic abuse services directly or can make an online referral to Victims First via our website www.victims-first.org.uk

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

More information about domestic abuse how to protect yourself in a domestic abuse situation, or how to spot the signs is available on our website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/

Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour: Respect agency for perpetrators

In a non-emergency, people can:

 

Thames Valley's enforcement of the coronavirus restrictions

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has released figures of the total number of fines that have been given out by police forces across the country for breaches of the Coronavirus restrictions.

The figures released are for the period between 27 March to 13 April. During this time Thames Valley Police handed out 219 Fixed Penalty Notices.

In response to the announcement, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell said: “This is an unprecedented public health emergency and an extraordinary national effort is needed to fight this virus. 

“Since the new measures were introduced we have had thousands of positive interactions with the public and the overwhelming majority of people have had either a legitimate purpose for being out, or have listened to the advice given by our officers.

“However, on some occasions we have had to enforce the legislation. In the last three weeks we have fined a total of 219 people of the 2.3 million population in the Thames Valley.

“Most of the fines we have issued have been to groups, inappropriately gathering together in public places, or driving together in a car, for example ten fines were given to one group alone.

“We have also made a number of arrests which have led to people being jailed for breaching Coronavirus restrictions or coughing at officers or members of the public.

“Some of these breaches have been identified by patrol officers but a significant number have been reported by the public. In particular this Easter Weekend, as with many Forces, we had a significant increase in these types of calls.

“We will continue to engage with the public, explain the restrictions and encourage people to stay indoors. However, when necessary, we will take enforcement action if people are not listening to the advice and are putting others at risk.

“The restrictions are in place to protect the public and protect the NHS.

“The great majority of the public have been staying in and stopping the spread of the pandemic, and I want to thank them for their ongoing cooperation and support.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, said: “We entirely support the approach of Thames Valley Police in engaging with the public, explaining why the new rules are so important, encouraging people to follow the rules and, as a last resort, enforcing.

“Some of those issued with Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were also charged with other serious offences not related to Coronavirus. As one of the largest forces in the country covering one of the largest populations, and also the force with the largest roads network, I would expect Thames Valley Police to issue more FPNs than most other forces.

“We have found that compliance within the Thames Valley is extremely good and I’d like to personally thank members of the public who are doing their bit and staying home. We will continue to monitor the situation closely as the pandemic progresses and have every confidence in Chief Constable John Campbell and his team.”

 

Something for the little ones

With so many more of us working from home now the school holidays are merging into home learning. For many it is proving a challenge to keep the little ones entertained. Another colouring sheet may not be the most original support but every little helps so clicking the button below will downloads a few policing theme colouring pages that may help to occupy a few moments.

Download a free set of police themed colouring sheets

 

Make your voice heard to help shape the future!

The role of the Police & Crime Commissioner includes holding to Chief Constable to account, setting the council tax precept for policing, commissioning services for victims of crime, funding community safety partnerships and setting the policing priorities for the Thames Valley.

I want to know your views about policing where you live. Please spare a few moments to complete my short survey and tell me what you think is going well and what can be done better. Click the button below or visit www.matthewbarber.co.uk/haveyoursay.

Make your voice heard NOW!

Please do spread the word and share the survey with friends and family!