Police & Criminal Justice Launched
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley has today (30/6) launched his Police & Criminal Justice Plan, setting out his key priorities for policing across the region.
The newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, has launched his Police & Criminal Justice Plan which sets out his vision for policing in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. As well as outlining how he will hold the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police to account, the Plan also sets out the strategic priorities and focus for the Force over the next four years.
Matthew said: “Today is a pivotal day in terms of setting out how I’m going to support and enhance policing across the Thames Valley over the coming years. My Police & Criminal Justice Plan explains the five key priorities that I intend to focus on which are strong local policing, fighting serious organised crime, fighting cybercrime and fraud, improving the criminal justice system, and tackling illegal encampments.
“I have not met a single police officer who does not understand the need for the police to be scrutinised and held to high standards. In return, they expect strong leadership, both from their senior officers and the PCC, as well as a clear vision. Officers put themselves in harm’s way every day, in order to keep the public safe and uphold the law. They deserve the respect of politicians and the public for their work.
“My vision for policing, encompassed in this plan, is for a clear focus on the priorities that matter the most to the public.
“The Plan has victims at its heart. Bringing criminals to justice is vital, but preventing people from becoming victims of crime in the first place is even more important, both through proactive crime prevention and through reducing reoffending.”
“I am excited about delivering this plan, working with stakeholders from across our region, and look forward to getting out and meeting members of the public to discuss my priorities for the next four years.”
To view a copy of the Police & Criminal Justice Plan (2021-2025), please visit: https://www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/police-and-crime-plan.
Horrific incident in Milton Keynes leaves two men dead and young boy in serious condition
The horrific incident that took place on Saturday morning in the Two Mile Ash area of Milton Keynes will have shocked the whole community. It is a tragedy for the families of the two men who have died, one of whom was shot by the police, and we must not forget that a young boy remains in hospital in a serious condition.
I have met with some of the officers involved at the scene and those leading the investigation. Whilst Thames Valley Police and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) continue their investigations I cannot comment further on the details of the events, but from my understanding at this early stage I am confident that the officers involved acted not just appropriately but bravely and with great professionalism in dealing with this terrible incident. Welfare support is in place for the officers involved and I will be meeting with the IOPC to discuss their ongoing investigation.
These tragic deaths come after a number of unrelated violent incidents in Milton Keynes which have understandably caused concern for many in the community. Thames Valley Police have made many successful arrests relating to these violent crimes and continue to work proactively to reduce violence in Milton Keynes and across the Thames Valley.
In addition to the extra resources that have been deployed in Milton Keynes there are a number of intelligence-led operations and longer term initiatives aimed at not just reducing violent crime, but tackling the culture that makes it acceptable to carry weapons in the first place.
My new Police & Criminal Justice Plan sets strong local policing as a priority and explicitly seeks to reduce violent crimes, especially deaths from knife crime. Sadly there are no simple solutions to the complex problem of why some people, especially young people, are choosing to carry weapons. The police have a key role to play and I want to ensure a Thames Valley Police are well placed to proactively tackle the threat of violence where it occurs, but there is also a role for other partners such as councils, schools and health who are all involved in the work of the Violence Reduction Unit.
Yet we all have a role to play, and whilst I would seek to reassure the public that the police are doing all they can do keep residents safe, I would ask people to continue to support the police in these efforts. I urge anyone with information or even concerns about someone becoming involved in violent crime to contact the police on 101 or to contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Response to the end-to-end rape review
The Government have today published The end-to-end rape review report on findings and actions (click to download).
In response to the report Matthew Barber said:
"This report highlights the failings in dealing with rape cases across the criminal justice system.
"As the report itself notes, rape cases can, by their nature, be incredibly difficult to prosecute. Often relying on matters of consent, rather than the act itself.
"This just emphasises why we must try even harder to ensure that justice is done all the way from reporting to the police, through to the court verdict.
"I have made improving the criminal justice system a priority in my new Police & Criminal Justice Plan and I will be working with the Police, the CPS, the Courts and Government to deliver justice for victims."
Services are commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure victims of rape and sexual assault across the Thames Valley have appropriate access to support. Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) within the Victims First Specialist Adult Service provide victims with emotional and practical support as well as help victims navigate the criminal justice system. To make a referral contact Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or at www.victims-first.org.uk.
More than £400,000 awarded from Safer Streets fund
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley has successfully bid for £401,950 from the Home Office to help make communities safer.
The Government has announced Thames Valley as one of 40 police and crime commissioner areas who will receive funding from the £18 million Safer Streets Fund.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted to have secured funding of more than £400,000 from the Safer Streets Fund. This funding will be used to tackle crime such as burglary, robbery and vehicle theft in Reading.
“We will be working closely with Reading Borough Council and Thames Valley police to ensure this funding goes directly to tackling neighbourhood crime and making our communities safer. As part of our bid, we will be looking at many areas of improvement such as providing crime prevention packs to landlords to make their properties more secure, training for frontline officers in crime prevention awareness and the installation of additional CCTV in areas of concern.
“We will also be working with the local community to engage them with crime prevention through advice and education.
“This is the second successful bid we’ve made from Thames Valley to the Safer Streets Fund and the next bidding round opens today.
“I look forward to seeing positive outcomes for our communities and I hope that we can spread the benefits and learning from these projects across Thames Valley.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I will not stand by while criminals inflict fear and misery on our communities, which is why I launched the Safer Streets Fund to improve security in areas blighted by crimes like burglary, robbery and theft.
“But it’s more than just environmental change – we need to prevent people from committing these offences in the first place as we build back safer.
“That is why the next round will rightly look at behaviour change, with a primary focus on women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has received £401,950 which will focus on Reading, specifically the Coley and Oxford Road areas of the city. This work will feed into a bigger project which will evaluate crime reduction as a result of these bids and what investments can be made across the rest of Thames Valley.
New job opportunities
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is recruiting.
There are currently opportunities for a new Head of Partnerships & Community Safety; a Head of Victims Services; a new Strategic Analyst and a Corporate Accountant. In addition there are always volunteering opportunities as an Independent Custody Visitor.