Police & Crime Bulletin for January 2020

PCC bids for 280 more tasers for Thames Valley Officers

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley is set to bid for hundreds of tasers as part of a new fund set up by the Home Office.

Anthony Stansfeld has announced that he will be bidding for 280 tasers, the maximum available for Thames Valley under the scheme.

Bidding opened this week as part of the Home Office’s drive to give police more powers and tools to tackle crime.

Thames Valley has already seen a significant increase in the number of taser trained officers in recent years. The planned uplift is a proportionate response to maintain the fundamental principle of unarmed policing whilst ensuring that Officers have the equipment they need to protect themselves and the public.

The opening of bidding this week follows the Home Secretary’s commitment to put more officers carrying tasers on our streets through a £10 million ring fenced fund, allowing them to better protect themselves and others from harm.


Thames Valley Police Officers honoured by the Queen

A huge congratulations the Thames Valley Police officers and staff past and present who were named in the New Year Honours List.

Former Chief Constable, Francis Habgood QPM was honoured with a Knighthood for his service to policing

Detective Superintendent Nigel Doak's Queens Police Medal reflects some of the most difficult and successful investigations he has had to deal with over the past five years.

Former Neighbourhood Inspector Chris Ward received a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to the people of West Berkshire, both as a police officer and for the charities he has supported. 

Neil Cussen received an MBE for services to policing and forensic science, his hidden and unpublicised contribution has been considerable.

Thames Valley's former Force Chaplain, the Revd Canon David Wilbraham also received an MBE. He is now national Police Chaplain.


Drugs Diversion Scheme – New pilot in Windsor and Maidenhead

Thames Valley Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, are starting a second drugs diversion pilot drugs diversion scheme in Windsor and Maidenhead.

The scheme is going to run alongside the first pilot which is in West Berkshire, and both have involvement from a range of partners including Cranstoun, who provide the drug support service, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, who has helped fund the scheme, Windsor and Maidenhead Council and the Youth Offending Team.

The aim is to prevent the cycle of re-offending and long term demand upon the police and judicial services by providing specialist support. The drugs diversion scheme is in place to help people rather than only provide a criminal sanction. This is to deliver an opportunity to change behaviour and receive support rather than a criminal record in the hope to reduce drug use and the drugs market in the area.

If an adult referred into the scheme does not attend, they are reported for the offence which is likely to result in a summons to court. This does not apply for under 18’s, if they fail to attend, they would no longer be eligible for future further diversion if found in possession of drugs again, in the same way as the first pilot scheme.

Both schemes aim to reduce the harm caused by the use of drugs and drug related offences, allowing offenders in possession of small quantities of illegal drugs an opportunity to be offered a tailored diversion route to address their use of drugs instead of facing prosecution.
However, offenders found to be in possession of larger quantities of drugs, those suspected of supplying illegal substances or those who do not engage with the specialist support, will face arrest and prosecution.

Recently, Thames Valley Police launched the True Costs campaign, and this will be looking at the wider reaching harm of the drugs market with the first phase establishing the real harm and impact on children.


Community policing awards 2020

Nominations have opened for this year’s Community Policing Awards (CPAs).

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond in their role? Someone who you believe should be recognised for their hard work and efforts over the last year? Could you provide an example of how they have exceeded what is expected of them?

The CPAs are a chance for people to nominate officers, staff and volunteers who have made a real difference to their community while working for TVP

The Awards take place each year at a ceremony held at Eynsham Hall near Witney in Oxfordshire in May. They are now in their nineteenth year.

Nominations for the nine award categories are open until Monday 24 February. To nominate someone for an award please visit the Thames Valley Police website to fill out a short form explaining your reasons.

The nine categories are:

1. Community Police Officer 2020

Do you know a neighbourhood police officer who has made a difference to your community?

2. Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) 2020

Can you think of a PCSO who has made an outstanding contribution to your community?

3. Special Constable 2020

Do you know a Special Constable who has gone above and beyond to serve your community?

4. Diversity Champion 2020

Do you know someone who has helped to improve diversity in your community?

5. Cadet 2020

Do you know a cadet who supports fellow cadets, shows initiative, supports community events, is committed to and is an advocate for the police force?

6. Volunteer 2020

Do you know a volunteer who actively supports the police and volunteers to work within a team in Thames Valley Police?

7. Community Volunteer 2020

Do you know a volunteer who assists with community concerns and enforcing the law?

8. Problem Solving Award 2020

Do you know an individual or team who have worked collectively to problem solve a community issue connected to crime reduction, anti-social behaviour and/or vulnerability which has made a real difference to a community? This can include partners, third sector and community members, as well as police staff and police officers across all departments.

9. Response Officer 2020

Response officers work 24/7 responding to emergency calls and dealing with incidents as they happen. Do you know a response officer who has gone above and beyond in their role?


Investigation into Maids Moreton murder and fraud featured in Channel 4 documentary

The Thames Valley Police investigation which led to a man being convicted of a murder and fraud offences in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire has featured in a documentary broadcast on Channel 4.

The film, which is part of the Catching a Killer series, is titled A Diary from the Grave, and details the investigation which resulted in Ben Field being sentenced to life imprisonment.

It featured the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit. The investigation, led by Principal Investigator Mark Glover, pieced together a series of increasingly bizarre clues, which ultimately would lead them to reveal Field’s crimes.

The documentary demonstrates the extent of Field’s crimes, which involved the 28-year-old pretending to be in a loving relationship with both Peter Farquhar, aged 69, and his neighbour Ann-Moore Martin, aged 83.

Over time, he ‘gaslighted’ both of them, poisoning Peter and convincing him that he was losing his mind, and leaving messages from ‘God’ to Ann on her mirrors in her house, convincing her to change her will in his favour.

When Peter died in October 2015, he left his house to Ben as well as a substantial amount of money, and there was initially no suspicion around this.

It was only when Ann fell ill in February 2017 that her family raised concerns about her relationship with Ben and a police investigation began.

The investigation took place over 26 months and culminated in a 12 week trial last summer in which the jury deliberated over 14 days.

The amount of evidence scrutinised by the team was substantial, with 2,671 items recorded, 127 of these being electronic devices to download as well as journals belonging to both Peter and Ben that needed to be carefully read through and transcribed.

On top of that, 1,407 statements were taken and 40 suspect interviews were conducted.


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.

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