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Building trust and confidence – PCC and Thames Valley Police detail plans for greater engagement with communities

Home > Latest News > Building trust and confidence – PCC and Thames Valley Police detail plans for greater engagement with communities

• An annual residents survey will be commissioned to gauge and measure public attitudes and trust and confidence in Thames Valley Police

• Independent scrutiny of policing will be strengthened to increase transparency and accountability to communities

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Thames Valley Police have today detailed plans to increase engagement with communities as part of their work to build trust and confidence in policing.

An annual residents’ survey will be commissioned by the PCC to better understand public attitudes and levels of trust and confidence in Thames Valley Police, supporting him in holding the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public.

An initial sentiment survey designed to provide a snapshot of public opinion has already been conducted in December 2023 which sought feedback on the effectiveness of the police, police engagement with communities, the levels of local crime and disorder, feelings of safety and feelings of fairness.

The snapshot survey marks the beginning of plans to measure trust and confidence and general attitudinal change through the commissioning of a longer-term annual survey.

In addition, a plan to restructure and strengthen the independent scrutiny and governance of Thames Valley Police has been published. The joint PCC and Thames Valley Police led Governance Review sets out a clear vision for scrutiny, advisory and governance arrangements to deliver a robust and consistent structure across the force area with increased community involvement.

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Both these areas of work are about how we listen, engage and involve our communities to improve policing and make it more accountable to the public.

“We are of course aware that incidents over recent years have damaged the public’s trust and confidence in policing and this will inevitably have an impact on attitudes here in the Thames Valley which we need to better understand.

“I know that trust and confidence can only be achieved by delivering effective policing on the ground so I will be looking at how the force effectively uses this insight to inform operational policing locally.

“I am also pleased to be able to publish the Governance Review today which details plans to deliver a more robust and transparent approach to scrutiny across the force.

“Volunteers provide an essential role in advising, challenging and scrutinising policing but I know this has not been consistent across the force area. Following implementation of the proposals, we will have a fair and consistent approach and will be seeking increased representation from across our diverse communities to provide an independent voice on local operational and community issues as well as scrutiny on areas such as Stop and Search, Use of Force and Use of Powers.

“Independent challenge assists me in my scrutiny of the force, and I thank existing panel members who have fed into this review and I look forward to the ongoing work with them as we implement the proposals over the coming year.”

Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs, Thames Valley Police, said: “I welcome the results of this snapshot survey and the findings of the review into the governance.

“Trust and confidence are the cornerstones of effective policing. Thames Valley Police’s mission is to be an excellent police force trusted by all our communities. To do this well we must first establish how our communities feel now. Only by understanding this will we know whether or not our efforts to improve are making a difference across all our communities.

“Building trust and confidence in policing hinges on our ability to listen to what our communities tell us. We maintain accountability through effective and transparent scrutiny and continually strive to strengthen the relationship between the police and the communities we are here to protect.”

The sentiment snapshot survey was conducted from 18 December 2023 to 2 January 2024 by Maru. 1608 surveys were completed online by residents across all Local Policing Areas.

Data from the survey includes the following results:
• 87% of respondents were willing to contact the police if they were the victim of a crime or worried about something
• 78% of respondents feel safe in their area however 53% are worried about crime
• 79% feel safe online
• 60% of respondents said that Thames Valley Police is an organisation they can trust

The Governance Review details a new structure of internal and external scrutiny from a strategic force level through to neighbourhood. At a local level, each of the force’s five Local Command Unit’s will have an Independent Advisory Group made up of volunteers from diverse communities who will provide a voice on local operational and community issues in addition to a Community Scrutiny Panel which will scrutinise operational policing locally with regards to Stop and Search, Use of Force and Use of Powers.

The implementation of the agreed proposals will take place over the next year supported by the PCC appointment of a Trust and Confidence Support Officer.
Further details of the survey results and the full Governance Review can be downloaded at on the Trust and Confidence webpage