Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, has today (27/1) set out his spending plans for Thames Valley Police which will see investment to deliver strong local policing focused on keeping our streets safe.
The plans were endorsed by the Police and Crime Panel which approved setting the policing element of the council tax at £256.28 for a Band D property, keeping the increase below inflation at just £1.25 a month.
Following today’s budget meeting, Matthew Barber said: “In setting this year’s budget for Thames Valley Police, I am acutely aware of the increasing cost of living impacting so many families locally. Of course, the police are not immune from rising costs and we see the impact of inflation, particularly in energy and fuel costs, despite increased funding from central government.
“This year’s policing budget will ensure that crimefighting remains at the heart of our mission to keep the public safe. The focus will be on delivering proactive community policing focussed on crime prevention to make every community even safer.”
This year’s policing budget will enable the following:
- Strengthen local community policing to tackle neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour
- Development of a Thames Valley-wide CCTV Partnership
- Embedding crime prevention with a focus on hotspot patrols and tackling known offenders
- Recruitment and support for more Special Constables and other police volunteers
- Recruitment of additional officers beyond the Home Office funded recruitment programme
- Reduce 101 wait times and improve digital contact between public and police
- Tackling online child abuse
- Improving work to tackle domestic abuse and ensure the safety of women and girls
Matthew added: “I’m delighted to have been backed by the Police and Crime Panel today with my budget proposal, which will have a direct and very positive impact on frontline policing across the Thames Valley.
“Previous investment, alongside the hard work of Police Officers, Special Constables, PCSOs and staff, has led to Thames Valley now having one of the lowest levels of serious violence of anywhere in the country. Headline operations have been implemented to help tackle knife crime, target sexual predators in the night time economy and to break up illegal car meets.
“By keeping the rise to your council tax for policing to less than 29p per week for the average Band D household, I can ensure that we strengthen local community policing to make everyone feel safer. The strategy is to improve telephone and online contact with the police to make it much easier to report concerns and crimes where you live and to ensure the police have the resources locally to be proactive in tackling neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and violence.”
John Campbell, Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police, said: “I welcome the Police and Crime Panel’s decision to approve the budget proposals from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber.
“The approved council tax police precept increase equates to less than 29p extra a week for an average Band D property, but as a total these additional funds will help in our priority areas, including tackling violence against women and girls, investigating the most serious crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnap, and enhancing our forensic capabilities that help to bring offenders to justice.
“I understand that with the cost of living increasing, these are tough times for households, so I want to thank residents for all this extra investment, which will help Thames Valley Police continue to keep our communities safe.”
Over 7,100 residents completed the ongoing local crime survey (15 November to 13 January). Participants were asked ‘If council tax increases, which areas would you most like to see your contribution used for?’ The following graphic and table demonstrate which areas were selected the most times:
If Council Tax increases, which areas would you most like to see your contribution used for?
|Area you would like to see your contribution used for||Amount of times selected by respondents|
|Neighbourhood Policing – increase uniformed visibility in the community||3,963|
|Crime Prevention – work at community level to support local efforts to reduce neighbourhood crimes||3,196|
|Police Investigation – improve the quality of police investigations with better outcomes and improved satisfaction amongst victims||3,119|
|Response times – Improve response times and meet increased demand for policing service||3,068|
|Drug Offences – disrupt drug markets and county lines||2,903|
|Serious and Organised Crime – ensure the police force has the necessary resources to respond to serious and organised crime threats (firearms, drugs, child criminal exploitation, fraud, economic crime, cyber, modern slavery and human trafficking)||2,517|
|Road Safety – roads policing (tackling drink/drug driving and speeding), improve ways for residents to send evidence of dangerous driving such as dash cam footage, community speedwatch||2,452|
|Safety of women and girls – specific investment to tackle violence against women and girls||2,393|
|Fraud/Online crime – cyber-crime and digital investigation capabilities||2,082|
|Reporting crime – make it easier to report crime on 101 or online and enhance call handling capacity||1,923|
|Technology – modern technology to enable front line policing to respond more efficiently and effectively to crime and to calls for help||1,917|
|Victims Services – increased support for victims of personal and high harm crimes such as rape and sexual assault||1,777|
|Rural Crime – work to understand and respond to the specific needs of rural communities||1,524|
|Hate Crime – prevention work and encouraging / supporting the reporting of all forms of hate crime||1,361|
|Special Constabulary/police volunteers – providing better equipment and enhanced training and support for Citizens in Policing||1,342|
|Counter Terrorism – more activity to pursue, prevent, protect and prepare for counter terrorism incidents.||1,309|
|Business Crime (including shoplifting) – more work with local businesses such as providing targeted crime prevention advice.||1,257|
|Police buildings – buildings and equipment to ensure they are fit for purpose||1,143|
Notes to Editors
For further information about the PCC’s Police and Criminal Justice Plan or finances, visit www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk.
In respect of the 2023/24 council tax precept, you will find the full reports submitted to the PCC’s Performance and Accountability Meeting and the accompanying appendices.
|Band||Council Tax 2023/24||Band||Council Tax 2023/24|