Police & Crime Bulletin for November 2018

Dawn raid targets organised crime gang thought to be responsible for ATM attacks

Early this morning (21/11) Thames Valley Police led a series of raids that saw 250 officers targeting 10 locations making arrests and searching properties.

The raid is part of Operation Shire, the ongoing operation to bring to justice the gang responsible for a series of ATM robberies across the Thames Valley in recent months.

As well as locations in the Thames Valley, coordinated raids also took place in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and West Mercia.

One of the priorities of the Police & Crime Plan for Thames Valley is to tackle Serious Organised Crime and the Force have dedicated significant resources. Many of the gangs targeted by the police are responsible for a significant amount of burglary and violence across the region. Raids such as today's are a major disruption to these gangs and help to bring people to justice and make our communities safer.


PCC awarded Home Office funding to tackle youth violence and exploitation

The Home Office has awarded the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley £822,000 from its Early Intervention Youth Fund to help tackle youth violence, vulnerability and exploitation across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The Office of the PCC is leading on the programme in partnership with a range of organisations across the Thames Valley including Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs), Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), Substance Misuse Services, Local Authorities and Secondary Schools.  

The programme will include four tiers of intervention:

  1. Raising awareness in all secondary schools across the Thames Valley. This may include a knife crime/youth violence workshop sessions for young people and training for teachers and other professionals.
  2. Support for teachers and schools in tackling school exclusions, providing specialist support such as youth workers, YOT workers and Speech and Language Therapists within approximately a third of secondary schools.
  3. Detached youth work to support and provide opportunities for young people who are not in education or employment and who are not engaging in mainstream services.
  4. Targeted engagement with young people already involved in gangs and knife crime, providing intensive support including access to therapies and skills training.

We are delighted to have been awarded this funding for the Thames Valley.  It provides the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the lives of young people and communities; tackling youth violence both in areas where knife crime, violence and county lines are existing issues as well as areas with emerging threat where early intervention can make a huge difference in changing the trajectory of individual’s lives.


Operation Sceptre - successful amnesty takes knives off the streets

As part of the national week long campaign in September knife surrender bins were placed into 16 police stations across the Thames Valley. This was to prevent unwanted knives from finding their way onto the streets. In total 733 knives and bladed articles were handed in compared to 172 in February 2018.

A number of other proactive activities were undertaken across the force to tackle knife crime. This included the use of knife arches in busy train stations, educational visits to schools, colleges and local businesses, weapon sweeps in public spaces and warrants.

Officers also worked in partnership with the Police Cadets, all under the age of 18, to conduct test purchase operations at a range of local retailers. Police Cadets attempted to buy knives and during one of the operations in Oxford, a knife was sold in seven out of 10 purchase attempts. As a result, retailers were provided with advice.

The success of the knife surrender campaign has resulted in a large volume of knives being removed from the streets.

If you need to report a knife related crime to the Police, please report it to us online via our website, call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.


Launch of new Safety Hub in Windsor

Officers from Thames Valley Police have joined South Central Ambulance Service, local charities and Councillors from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to launch a new Safety Hub in Windsor.

The initiative, which is being led by Thames Valley Police, provides additional support at night for vulnerable people in and around the town centre.

Based at Windsor Baptist Church on Victoria Street, the Safety Hub will be open every Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning between 10pm and 3am. In addition those in need will also be welcomed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Any person requiring respite, refuge, or first aid will be able to access support at this safe location.

The facility enhances the service already being provided by the Windsor Street Angels. For more information about the work of the Windsor Street Angels, please visit www.streetangelswindsor.org