Police & Crime Bulletin for October 2019

183 new police officers announced in first phase of recruitment

The Home Office have announced the first tranche of police officer recruitment to meet the pledge of 20,000 new officers promised by the Government.

Thames Valley will be able to recruit an additional 183 officers in the first year of the scheme (2020-21) with figures for years two and three of the uplift scheme yet to be confirmed.

Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

This announcement follows a number of positive conversations between the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley and the government in recent weeks and is in addition to the 209 police officers and staff supporting frontline policing (such as call handlers) announced by the PCC earlier this year.



Introducing Police Horse Viktor

Earlier this week Thames Valley's Mounted Section welcomed Police Horse Viktor as latest addition to the team. The Mounted Section play an important role in public order by attending planned and spontaneous public disorder. This can include policing football matches and helping to maintain public order at demonstrations, marches and events.

With the latest addition, Thames Valley Police now have 7 horses in its Mounted Section.

Matthew Barber, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to meet the latest recruit for Thames Valley Police’s Mounted Section earlier this week. I was very impressed with the work taking place during my visit.

“Police Horse Viktor joins an important part of the policing family and will continue to ensure that our communities are kept safe and protected.”


GPS tagging

From this month the Courts will be able to utilise a GPS tag system when bailing suspects from court. The scheme supported by the Ministry of Justice will allow courts and the police to minimise the risk of further offending and safeguard victims whilst suspects are on bail. 

The courts can consider both exclusion and inclusion zones and may be combined with timing restrictions or curfews. This allows better monitoring whilst minimising the impact on the lives of individuals awaiting further proceedings.

A similar approach is already operated by Thames Valley Police and supported by the Police & Crime Commissioner on a voluntary basis for some offenders leaving custody. The PCC has previously called for the courts to have the power to impose tagging as part of a sentence as an aid to reducing reoffending and supporting rehabilitation.


Thames Valley Police rated "Good"

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has rated Thames Valley Police as ‘Good’ for Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy.

HMICFRS found that Thames Valley Police is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe. It also noted that the force is good at protecting vulnerable people and works well with partner agencies to achieve this.

The inspectors found that the force continues to be outstanding in how it uses its resources to meet current demand and has a good understanding of trends in demand and the impact of changing technology.


Rural crime week

The last week has seen a series of operations by Thames Valley Police to highlight the work they do all year round to combat rural crime. Officers across the Force have been work to raise awareness of some of the action farmers and landowners can take to protect their property. Watch my video online.

Tackling crime in the countryside remains a priority for the Police & Crime Commissioner and Thames Valley Police.

Find out more about the work the Force does to tackle rural crime on the Thames Valley Police website.


Presentation ceremony for voluntary groups

Twenty two voluntary and community organisations were recognised on Friday at an event which was held in recognition of £106,000 being awarded to good causes.

Deputy PCC, Matthew Barber, and Chief Constable, John Campbell, awarded voluntary and community organisations £106,733 from the Police Property Act Fund.

The Fund, jointly managed by the PCC and the Chief Constable, 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.

The successful projects will receive funding to support a range of issues including domestic violence perpetrators, exploitation of vulnerable people, gangs and knife crime, offender management, public awareness and substance abuse.


Recent announcements by the Home Secretary

In addition to the recruitment of 20,000 additional police officers the Home Secretary has recently made a number of other announcements set to ensure the police are empowered to act to keep us all safe and that they have the resources and the support they need in carrying out their difficult and often dangerous job.

  • £20m to step up the fight against county lines gangs that exploit children
  • Proper sentences for those convicted of assaults on police officers
  • The ending of automatic early release for violent and sexual offenders
  • An increase in the use of electronic tagging to track offenders and reduce reoffending
  • £10m to increased the number of officers trained to carry tasers


Join the conversation

I want to hear your concerns about policing and crime in the Thames Valley. That's why I'm launching a series of meetings across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to discuss how safe you feel in your community and to explain my priorities for Thames Valley Police. 

It is an opportunity to find out more about the role of the Police & Crime Commissioner, discuss your priorities and to raise issues of concern in your area.

The first of these meetings will take place in Oxfordshire next week. Registration is NOT REQUIRED - you can just turn up - but if you do register in advance it will help me to judge numbers for the venue.

Monday 14th October 2019 | 6.30-7.30pm
Boundary Park, Great Western Park, Didcot, OX11 6EY

Click here to register NOW!



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. Visit www.matthewbarber.co.uk/haveyoursay.

Please do spread the word and share the survey with friends and family!