Sajid Javid announced as new Home Secretary
The Prime Minister has just announced that Sajid Javid will take over from Amber Rudd as Home Secretary.
Having met Mr Javid on many occasions in his previous role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government I am hopeful that he will bring fresh thinking to the Home Office, particularly getting to grips with the police funding formula. The formula that distributes funding between police forces leaves Thames Valley significantly worse off per head of population when compared with other large forces.
I look forward to Sajid Javid visiting Thames Valley as he begins work in his new role. There is great innovations in the way the force is embracing technology and Thames Valley Police has been recognised by Inspectors as being one of the most efficient in the country. We need continued support for the Government to ensure the police have the tools to protect the public from the changing threats of modern crime. I hope that the new Home Secretary will deliver that support.
Serving the Thames Valley full-time
At their last meeting earlier this month the Thames Valley Police & Crime Panel confirmed my appointment as full-time Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner. Having served on a part-time basis since January 2017, I will be full-time from 21st May, allowing me to spend more time getting out and about across the Thames Valley.
As a result I have announced my intention to stand down as Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council on 16th May. Whilst much of my time I find myself at Headquarters (based in Kidlington), I try to make sure that I can get out to reach as many communities in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire as possible. As well as meeting with colleagues in the police and partners in local councils I am keen to meet with local residents groups and other voluntary organisations who may have issues regarding the policing of our three counties. Do please let me know if I can assist in your community.
Positive Relationships Programme
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is funding a Positive Relationships Programme aimed at supporting men who have been perpetrators of domestic abuse; helping them to find healthier, safer solutions to relationship based problems and conflict.
The programme which is being delivered by the Community Rehabilitation Company addresses key areas including increasing self and other awareness, self-efficacy and self-esteem, emotion regulation, alcohol awareness, social problem solving skills training, and skills and tools to resolve social problems and aggression within intimate relationships
It is being run across six delivery sites across the Thames Valley (Bicester, Reading, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Oxford and Slough). Each session takes place on a Saturday over a 12 week period with start dates every two months.
This is a voluntary programme. To be eligible individuals must be male, aged 18 or over, be repeat offenders against the same or multiple victims within a heterosexual relationship and assessed as being standard or medium risk of reoffending.
The victim must be supportive of the programme and priority will be given to cases where there is a child within the family or household.
More information and how to make a referral is available on the programme leaflet
Thames Valley Police welcomes Reverend Helen Arnold as new chaplain
Thames Valley Police and the Diocese of Oxford are delighted to confirm that the Reverend Helen Arnold is to take up the role of Lead Chaplain.
Helen will co-ordinate a team of around 30 volunteer chaplains who provide personal, practical and spiritual care to the force’s officers, staff and their families of all faiths and none. Helen takes over from the Revd Canon David Wilbraham, who was Thames Valley Police chaplain for over 10 years before being recently licensed as the National Police Chaplain.
Commenting on the appointment Chief Constable Francis Habgood said: “I am delighted to welcome Helen to Thames Valley Police. Our volunteer chaplain team has grown substantially under the stewardship of the Revd Canon David Wilbraham and are the source of great care and support for our officers, staff and volunteers. Helen’s experience and passion for working across denominations and cultures will be of particular value to our force and the communities of Thames Valley.”
The Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester and the lead Bishop nationally for police chaplaincy, said: “Helen brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this important role. Chaplains provide invaluable support to police officers and staff as they work, often in challenging circumstances, to tackle crime and keep our communities safe.”
Fire and police use light touch to keep cyclists safe
Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Education Team and colleagues from Thames Valley Police joined forces to raise the profile of cycle safety in Oxford last night.
Police stopped cyclists seen riding without lights but, in an effort to try and educate riders, instead of receiving a penalty ticket, they were offered a free set of bicycle lights, fitted by Fire and Rescue Service officers.
In the two hours from 7-9pm on Oxford High Street, 57 sets (front and rear) lights were given out to cyclists . All of those invited to take the lights and education message did so.
Be safe, be seen
As well as promoting the use of lights and high visibility clothing to cyclists, the Road Safety Team also encourage cyclists to ensure they have a properly maintained/road worthy bicycle, get more training if they feel they need it and wear a cycle helmet in case they fall off their bike.
In addition, the county council offers all primary schools in Oxfordshire the opportunity to provide cycle training to their 9-11 year old students.
Children taking part in cycle training (National Standard level 1 & 2) learn about rules of the road, rights of way and how to make safer decisions, on the move in traffic. Almost 2,600 children benefit each year from these vital safety lessons, with a further 185 youngsters receiving similar from the government grant scheme, Bikeability.
It is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and reflectors. Exactly which lights and reflectors, where to fit them and when to light up, is defined by the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations.
Essentially, the minimum is:
- Lights (and reflectors) are required on a pedal cycle only between sunset and sunrise.
- Lights (and reflectors) are not required when the cycle is stationary or being pushed along the roadside.
- When they are required, the lights and reflectors listed below must be clean and working properly.
Any offences are dealt with in Thames Valley by way of a diversion course which is an on-line learning package which cost £30 or a fixed penalty notice of £50 with no option to do a diversion course.