More police officers than ever before
Thames Valley PCC, Matthew Barber, has welcomed the announcement that 269 police officers have been recruited in Thames Valley since September 2019, bringing the total number of officers up to 4,519. The latest figures show that Thames Valley Police now have more police officers than ever before as numbers have passed the previous high in 2010.
In total, an extra 9,814 police officers have been recruited across all 43 police forces in England and Wales, bringing the total number of police officers in England and Wales up to 138,574 – where they are already having an impact in tackling crime and keeping communities safe.
The recruitment drive is also helping to make police more representative of the communities they serve. More than 6,000 female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than four in ten of all new recruits.
There are also more black, Asian and other ethnic minorities employed as officers across forces than at any other time in the country’s history, making up over one in ten of the new recruits.
The latest figures follow the launch of the Conservative Government’s Beating Crime Plan – aimed at reducing crime, protecting victims and making the country safer.
This builds on the action taken by the Conservative Government since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister two years ago – including boosting police funding to a record £15.8 billion, passing the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill through the House of Commons, and delivering £45 million through the Safer Streets Fund to make neighbourhoods secure.
Commenting, Matthew Barber said:
“As part of my plan for Thames Valley I am looking to the future to deliver even more police officers to tackle crime in local communities and drive down crime.
“The 269 extra police officers for Thames Valley will help to cut crime, keep neighbours secure, and reassure the law abiding majority that they are safe.
“These officers are only just the start and recruitment continues apace. To find out more about joining Thames Valley Police visit tvpcareers.co.uk.”
More than £980,000 awarded to support Thames Valley victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence
Victims and survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse will benefit from extra support thanks to £980,000 of Ministry of Justice funding awarded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley.
This money will fund third sector organisations, charitable and social enterprises and public bodies which provide support services to help victims of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence.
The funding encompasses:
- £422,072 awarded for a two year period to six organisations for the recruitment and training of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs).
- £558,919 awarded as uplift funding to 22 organisations for one year; funding areas such as staff costs (including ISVA/IDVA provision and support workers), training, group work and counselling support.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner said “We have some exceptional organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the Thames Valley and I am delighted to be able to award this funding which will make a huge difference to them and ultimately the victims and survivors they work with. Increasing specialist service provision will give victims better access to much needed support to help them recover from the harm they’ve experienced.
“Some of the posts funded are dedicated to supporting particular groups who for a range of reasons can be less likely to access support such as men, disabled victims and victims within LGBTQ+ and BAMER communities. A focus of the ISVA/IDVA fund to increase tailored provision for these groups will, I hope, result in services being better resourced to meet victims’ specific needs”.
Commissioner welcomes tougher rules on offensive weapons
Changes to legislation, brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, mean that from this month it is now an offence to possess certain items such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives, even in private.
Other sections of the act that will commence today include an updated definition of flick knives to reflect changes in weapon designs, and the banning of private possession of flick knives and gravity knives. The rest of the act will commence later in the year, and will bring in new provisions for the control of goods sold online, as well as placing responsibility onto delivery companies to conduct age verification at delivery stage.
Police and partners will be working to educate the public and the business community regarding these changes in legislation. The introduction of such measures will provide us with further means to help deter young people from becoming involved in knife possession and knife crime.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I’ve highlighted the need to tackle violent crime in my new Police & Criminal Justice Plan. In Thames Valley we have seen a significant reduction in recorded knife crime, and the police continue to deliver high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas and will proactively seek out those who chose to carry weapons. This change in the law to outlaw knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives will help the police to keep the public safe.”
Reducing reoffending among domestic abuse perpetrators
Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, has awarded over £18,000 to support an innovative project, aimed at reducing reoffending among domestic abuse perpetrators.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has awarded £18,500 of funding to Thames Valley Police to work with first time domestic abuse perpetrators in order to reduce re-offending.
As part of this funding, Thames Valley Police will work with the Hampton Trust on their Cautioning and Relationship Abuse (CARA) project. The project is aimed at lower risk, alleged first time perpetrators who will attend two workshops between 4 and 5 weeks apart.
The workshops aim to give perpetrators an understanding of domestic abuse and the impact of their behaviour on others, including the victim and any children. Work is done on recognition of personal risk factors, management strategies and how to access other services that may be of benefit, such as substance misuse. The approach to perpetrators is based on extensive experience of the facilitators who are trained to deal with feelings of shame, anxiety, anger and remorse.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted to have been able to provide funding to support Thames Valley Police in reducing reoffending, an important part in my Police & Criminal Justice Plan.
“The CARA project, delivered by the Hampton Trust, has the opportunity to make a real difference in reducing reoffending among domestic abuse perpetrators.
“This is an exciting project which has the potential to protect victims, and reduce crime.
“I am pleased to be able to support this project and, in turn, keep our communities safe.”
Beating Crime Plan
This week’s announcement by the Government of a renewed commitment to tackle neighbourhood crime and improve community safety across the country has been welcomed by Thames Valley’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber.
The new “Beating Crime Plan” unveiled by the Prime Minister earlier this week sets out a strong end-to-end vision – from tackling serious violence and high harms, to driving down neighbourhood crime, to tackling anti-social behaviour and includes a range of measures to support PCCs and local forces to make communities safer.
The announcement comes just weeks after Matthew Barber formally published his own Police & Criminal Justice Plan for Thames Valley.
Responding to the proposals, Matthew Barber said: “I know from talking to victims the huge impact that crime can have on people’s lives and I welcome the support of the Government in seeking to tackle the issues that matter most to the public. Concerns over anti-social behaviour, car crime, burglaries and the responsiveness of the police to local issues really matter to communities here in Thames Valley.
“I have already put strong local policing at the heart of my plan for Thames Valley and recruitment is going well in Thames Valley as part of the national police uplift programme. Expressions of interest are now being taken in the latest round of police officer recruitment.
“More transparency across policing must be a positive thing and as joint national Lead for Performance I look forward to working with the Policing Minister and the Home Office on how these measures can best be implemented to make communities safer across Thames Valley and across the country.
“When the public need the police they want to know they will receive the appropriate response, so continuing to monitor and further improve the response to 999 and 101 calls and online contact is important to ensure public confidence, not just by driving down the time taken to answer calls, but also to improve the quality of service provided to the public.
“I am committed to deliver safer communities across Thames Valley and the measures set out in this plan will help Thames Valley Police and our partners to tackle neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and drug crime.”