Police & Crime Commissioner announces further financial support for police
Following the announcement by Police Minister, Kit Malthouse, of the biggest cash increase for policing in a decade, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has set out his plans for local police funding:
“The Government’s funding announcement was based on a rise in the policing part of the local council tax by up to £10 a year for the average Band D household. Although we never like to increase council tax this additional funding will ensure vital support for the extra frontline policing and amounts to less than 20p a week.
“The support from local taxpayers has already allowed me to increase the number of police officers and staff in the last year and this new funding settlement will see an additional 183 officers recruited this year. This is just the first phase of a recruitment which I hope will see police officers numbers rise by around 600 in total.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, added: “Last year we put additional resources into improving investigations to bring more criminals to justice and have recruited more call handlers to deal with 101 calls and improve the service for the public.
“These budget proposals will give Thames Valley Police an additional £30.5m this year and will ensure that we invest in initiatives such as drones and the High Tech Crime Unit. Officers will be provided with improved technology and more officers will be equipped with tasers to better protect themselves and the public.”
£160,000 taken from criminals given to community groups
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley has awarded voluntary and community organisations £166,800 from the Police Property Act Fund.
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.
There were 169 applications to the current funding round with 42 organisations successful in receiving funding of between £1,000 – £10,000 to support the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan objectives.
Community and voluntary organisations play an important role in the Thames Valley. We have seen successful recipients providing important services to communities across the area.
For a full list of organisations who have been awarded funding, please see Police Property Act Fund Donations 2019-2020.
Community engagement events continue across Milton Keynes
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has funded a series of events bringing together communities in Milton Keynes with a view to making impactful changes for the better. Facilitated by ROC Conversation, and working with Thames Valley Police, the events will see a number of positive outcomes – one of which are community mentors.
At the events residents, statutory agencies, community and faith groups will come together to understand shared concerns around violent crime. They will look at ways of reducing violent crime and how local communities can be involved in supporting young people towards positive pathways.
Matthew Barber, said: “We have already held two ROC Conversation events in Milton Keynes which have been very successful. It’s been really encouraging to see people coming together from different parts of the community to find solutions to common problems.
“There will be many positive outcomes from this work, one of which are community mentors. We’d encourage anyone with an interest in making changes for the better in Milton Keynes to attend one of the events next week, where you will also be able to find out more about being a mentor.”
The next ROC Conversation events will take place on 24th and 25th February between 7pm and 9pm. Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend and more details can be found at:
You can also find out more about the events on this video: https://vimeo.com/386978177.
Improving parking enforcement in Southern Oxfordshire
Following concerns raised by local residents Thames Valley Police is increasing the level of enforcement to deal with illegal parking in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.
Illegal problem can be a problem across the Thames Valley but Southern Oxfordshire is unusual at the local councils do not yet have the legal powers to conduct parking enforcement themselves. Both local District Councils have both publicly stated their intention to apply to decriminalise parking across the area and these measures are intended to go some way to addressing community concerns in the meantime
In response to concerns from the public this issue has been taken up by Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, and raised with both the local area commander and the Chief Constable. The outcome has been increased targeted enforcement by Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) as an interim measure while the councils go through the legal processes to take on responsibility for parking themselves.
Commenting on the initiative Matthew Barber said: “There are many competing demands on the police and they have rightly been focussing on issues such as reducing violence, burglary, rural crime and the drug trade. Nevertheless in the absence of any other enforcement local residents are understandably concerned about the impact of illegal parking on road safety, traffic flows and local businesses.
“I am delighted that Thames Valley Police are embarking on a targeted enforcement programme in South and Vale to fill the gap whilst the Councils pursue decriminalisation. I have written to both district councils and town councils in both districts to highlight this new effort by the police and asking them to look to provide continuing support to the police to allow this to continue.”
Funding provided to protect victims of domestic abuse
Part of the national funding programme by the Government will for domestic abuse refuge services is coming to Thames Valley. This is part of a wider government drive to bolster protection for survivors of domestic abuse, including the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill which is due to be reintroduced shortly
Three councils in Thames Valley will benefit from over £210,000 to help survivors have access to the help they need as they move towards a safe future, free from domestic abuse.
The new funding will enable victims and their children to stay safe, recover from the trauma, and access safe permanent rehousing where needed.
In Thames Valley the funding is split between three local authorities:
Oxfordshire County Council £54,504.97
Buckinghamshire County Council £70,000
Milton Keynes Council £86,412
Domestic abuse is a devastating crime which shatters the lives of over two million survivors and their families every year.
Reporting back across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire
I have published latest Reporting Back leaflet, keeping local residents informed of the work being done across the Thames Valley to keep you and your family safe. You can view my report online by clicking here.
As well as this online versions I am working with volunteers to distribute as many as possible to letterboxes across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. These reports are produced and distributed at no cost to the taxpayer. The cost is entirely met from voluntary donations. If you would like to contribute to my campaign you can donate online by clicking here.
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.
Please do spread the word and share the survey with friends and family!