Thames Valley Police set for a further increase in officers and additional funding
- Thames Valley Police is set to receive an additional £12.6m in direct funding from the Home Office as part of this settlement
- Funding increased for a further 179 police officers in the second tranche of the national police officer uplift programme
Thames Valley is set to receive an additional £12.6m in its funding from the Home Office next year, as part of an overall funding package of £15.8 billion for policing across the country.
Including in the funding settlement announced last week is over £400 million recruit 20,000 extra police officers by 2023. Thames Valley has already benefited from an additional 260 officers and has now been allocated funding for a further 179 officers.
In addition, Police & Crime Commissioners have been given the ability to increase the policing precept by up to £15 (for a Band D property). In Thames Valley this could generate an increase of more than £13m. Decisions on the level of council tax will be taken after consultation with the Chief Constable on the operational priorities for the Force, and how additional funding can go to support frontline crime fighting.
Speaking after the announcement, Matthew Barber said:
“Officers and staff at Thames Valley Police have been instrumental in keeping our community safe this year, and I pay tribute to them for their hard work and professionalism.
“I am delighted to see Thames Valley getting both additional funding and officers next year. More than half of the increased announced by the Home Office would have to come from local tax payers and we must be ever conscious of the harsh effects of coronavirus on many families this year. However the public overwhelmingly support the hard work of Thames Valley police officers and will welcome today’s announcement that more resources and more officers will be available to help cut crime and protect our communities.”
** UPDATE **
Your views will be sought in a short consultation to be launched shortly on prioritising police funding to ensure that any increase in council tax funds front line crime fighting. More details will be published shortly. Follow my Facebook Page for the latest information by clicking here.
Sentences for PC Harper's killers upheld
The Court of Appeal has today upheld the original sentences for the killers of Thames Valley Police Constable Andrew Harper. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had appealed the sentences handed out to Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole as unduly lenient. Both Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole also appealed against their convictions and the length of their sentences.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: "Today is yet another difficult and emotional day for PC Harper’s family, friends and colleagues across Thames Valley Police. Many will be understandably disappointed that the sentences for Andrew’s killers were not extended. Nevertheless, their own appeals were also rejected and so the legal challenges against their conviction have now come to an end. They will serve their sentences.”
The driver of the vehicle Henry Long received a total of 16 years on the charge of manslaughter and collectively the three men received sentences of 42 years.
Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, added: “The horrific crimes of these men shocked people across the country, but the greatest tragedy is of course felt by Andrew’s family. Our thoughts are with them on this difficult day and whilst this represents the end of the legal battle of the sentencing in this case, I know that Lissie Harper will continue to campaign for Harper’s Law to seek life sentences for anyone found guilty of causing the death of emergency workers.”
Joint operation to tackle criminals across the South East of England
Thames Valley Police has joined with a number of police forces across the South East to combat criminals who are exploiting the major road and rail networks to carry out offences.
The three day operation, which ran from December 1-3, involved Thames Valley Police working alongside the Metropolitan Police, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, City of London Police and British Transport Police.
Officers from the forces’ proactive and roads policing teams worked together patrolling the road and rail networks, supported by a joint intelligence team who also monitored ANPR cameras across all force areas to quickly identify and intercept vehicles and individuals of interest.
As a result of this activity, a total of 169 people were arrested on suspicion of offences which included possession with intent to supply drugs, possession of offensive weapons and being concerned in the supply of drugs. Over 32 weapons and 25 vehicles were also seized as part of the operation. Two stolen cars and stolen plant machinery were part of these recovered vehicles.
Superintendent Amy Clements, who led the operation, said: “This has been a really successful operation. We know that many organised offenders use the major road and rail networks across the South East of the country to travel between different force areas and commit crimes.
“It has been really beneficial for all of the forces involved in this operation to build on existing relationships to work together to combat offenders who work to exploit victims across the region.
“Our teams patrolled the road and rail networks and used intelligence including ANPR cameras to identify those who we believe have been committing criminal offences and crossing police force borders in an attempt to evade capture.
“Let me be clear, this sort of organised criminal activity is not tolerated and offenders should know that police forces work together to disrupt them and to prevent them from disrupting our communities. We will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities.”
Information from communities is vital in identifying and intercepting these serious criminals so please tell the Police if you notice that seems something that just doesn’t seem right. You can report a crime or suspicious incident online or by calling 101.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.
Launching my Thames Valley Business Crime Survey
Crime doesn't just affect individuals. Criminals targeting businesses in Thames Valley cause substantial financial harm, loss of equipment and employment and can all too often threaten staff and employers.
Whether you're a small rural business, a tech entrepreneur, or on the retail front line, protecting your business matters.
The Thames Valley economy is huge, and makes a massive contribution to our countries prosperity. Business large and small need the protection of effective policing just as we all do as individuals. Crimes against business can take many forms and affect businesses and communities in different ways.
I want to know about your experience and concerns about business crime, so I have launched a new Thames Valley Business Crime Survey to get your views on this important issue.
Shop workers and their families speak out about abuse in moving Christmas campaign
“I worry about Sammie most days when she goes to work, she had a flare pulled out on her recently, it’s so scary.”
“My dad’s had beer thrown at his face and has been physically assaulted, it’s not okay.”
“My mum is just trying to do her job. I’m worried about her safety.”
These are the testaments from the families of three shop workers who have spoken out about the abuse their loved ones have faced during the pandemic as part of a moving Christmas campaign.
The film features real people who have put themselves at risk working in essential shops, keeping families fed and providing vital human interaction for so many people who have been alone at home for much of the year.
There is a concern that those on our festive frontline could bear the brunt of some shoppers’ frustrations about wearing masks and distancing measures, leading to more abuse and assaults.
Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber is supporting the ‘Keeping Christmas Kind’ campaign and saying that ‘enough is enough’.
"No-one should be subjected to abuse or fear of assault, and this year shop workers have been in the frontline. In some ways the pandemic has brought out the best in people, with a renewed community spirit and many people looking out for their vulnerable neighbours. Sadly it has also brought out the worst in some, and this sort of abuse should not be tolerated."
According to retail trade union Usdaw, every minute of the working day during the pandemic a shopworker nationally has been verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.
By sharing this campaign, you can help to raise awareness of the abuse shop workers have faced and encouraging others to show some kindness towards those on the festive frontline this Christmas.
To watch the campaign film click here: #KeepingChristmasKind - full film - YouTube
Over £124,000 awarded to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the Thames Valley
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley has awarded an additional £124,000 to charities and community interest companies to support them in helping victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The Ministry of Justice emergency funding has been awarded to 18 organisations across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to help manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to enable them to continue to support the needs of victims.
This second round of emergency funding covers costs incurred and anticipated spending from 1st November – 31st March 2021. In the first round of funding in July, the PCC awarded £807,000 to 26 organisations.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley said “Since the beginning of the pandemic, and with the aid of the first round of emergency funding, domestic abuse and sexual violence services have successfully adapted their support and continued to meet the needs of victims. However, the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across the Thames Valley with some organisations experiencing loss of fundraising income coupled with an increase in people seeking support.
“I am therefore delighted to be able to award this additional funding to help support organisations, and in turn victims, and to ensure that people who need support in the future are able to access it.”
Organisations will be using the funding to support a range of areas including training, frontline staffing costs for face-to-face and helpline support, PPE and cleaning supplies and emergency supplies for victims of domestic abuse including food, clothing, toiletries and travel costs.
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.