08 Jan Thames Valley Police
At the end of last year, the Home Office announced the funding settlement for police across the country for the next financial year. In Thames Valley, this means an additional £12.6m in Government grant to pay for an additional 179 police officers. The increase in officers is the second part of the national uplift programme that will see 20,000 additional officers across the country by March 2023. In the Thames Valley, we have already recruited the extra 183 officers funded from the 2020/21 budget.
Despite the increase in funding from government, there continue to be cost pressures on the Force and the public rightly expect to see improving performance in order to keep us all safe and bring criminals to justice. Alongside the funding from the Home Office, the Government has also allowed Police & Crime Commissioners to increase council tax by up to £15 (for a Band D property) in order to make additional investments in policing. In Thames Valley that means that for less than 29p a week for the average household (Band D property) more than £13m could be invested in frontline policing.
In previous years, the support of local tax payers through their council tax has meant that we have managed to reduce the time it takes for the police to answer non-urgent 101 calls and to significantly increase detection rates, meaning that more victims of crime receive justice and more criminals are held to account.
It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focussed on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public. I am proud of the work done by Thames Valley Police Officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers every single day, but there is always more that can be done.
In close consultation with the Chief Constable I want to see further improvements in the effectiveness and visibility of the Force by investing in the following areas:
- Boosting visible neighbourhood policing by recruiting more PCSOs in addition to the extra police officers being funded by the Government
- Creating a Rural Crime Taskforce in order to increase visibility, enforcement and prosecution across Thames Valley’s large number of rural communities
- Continuing to tackle the challenge of county lines drugs gangs by increasing the resources available to the Force to tackle the scourge of drugs on our streets
- Improving the response to fraud and cyber crime
- Continuing to improve the fight against domestic abuse to protect more families from harm
- New technology and equipment to optimise the benefit of the additional police officers
Final decisions on council tax and budget priorities will be made in February and by contributing your views now you can help play your part in shaping how Thames Valley Police continues to improve and tackle crime across our community.
Please complete the survey link here. The survey will close for submissions at 5pm on Wednesday 20 January.
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