Number of neighbourhood police constables set to double across the Thames Valley
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The number of police constables in Thames Valley’s Neighbourhood Teams is set to double, increasing the number of officers available to tackle local crime across the region.
This significant boost will re-establish the priority of neighbourhood policing at the very heart of local policing efforts.
The change will allow for more opportunities for Thames Valley Police officers to connect with the communities they serve, bringing the police and public closer together.
This additional capability in neighbourhood policing comes as a result of bringing in 80 additional neighbourhood officers, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, and a restructure of local policing teams, which will see the Thames Valley Police move from an 11-area structure to a five-area model.
This is being done as part of a wider force review project, with the aim of ensuring the force is set up in the best way to deal with the demands of modern-day policing.
The new five-command areas will be Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Berkshire West and Berkshire East. Roll-out of the changes will be phased, with the change introduced in Buckinghamshire over this year, and other areas to follow in 2024.
Within the move to the five local command units, most of the 108 neighbourhood teams across the force will see an increase in PCs to deal with local crime and connect better with local communities and community groups. More supervisors are also being factored into the plans to help lead the new-to-role officers.
20 officers will also be dedicated to work specifically in schools, building relationships with young people and education professionals across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Mental health provision will also be catered for, with 10 officers focusing on better partnership-agency alignment in order to direct the right resources to the most vulnerable.
The reorganisation will allow for the creation of a brand-new Harm Reduction Unit to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities and increase resourcing for domestic abuse.This restructure will also enable the force to more flexibly move resources across our areas to respond to demand.
Deputy Chief Constable, Ben Snuggs, said: “We are absolutely committed to local policing. We want these changes to clearly demonstrate that neighbourhood policing is at the heart of effective policing across the Thames Valley.
“We have undertaken an extensive piece of work with our workforce, with partners, key stakeholders and the public to review our local policing structure. I would like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us through our survey earlier this year. Your responses have really helped shape our work and inform decision-making.
“These changes will allow us to build stronger relationships with our communities, and we will continue to work with them to identify and address issues earlier, prevent more crime and harm, such as anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and exploitation, and keep people safe.”
Further information on local policing structures is available on the TVP website.