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PCC announces investment to keep streets safe

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Thames Valley PCC, Matthew Barber, has today (28/1) set out his spending plans for Thames Valley Police which will see new investment to keep our streets safer and bring more criminals to justice.

The plans have been endorsed by the Police and Crime Panel which approved setting the policing element of the council tax at £241.28 for a Band D property, keeping the increase below inflation at just 83p a month. 

Following the budget meeting, Matthew Barber said: “These plans don’t just strengthen the capabilities for the coming year but lay the foundations for investment for the medium term to ensure that as police officer numbers continue to increase, the Force is equipped to focus on the crimes that matter most to the public and deliver justice for victims.” 

The budget and medium term plan agreed today will enable: 

  • Development of a specialist Rape & Sexual Offences team
  • A dedicated team to fast track cases, reducing delays for victims and releasing officers back to the frontline
  • Improvements in forensics to speed up investigations and bring more criminals to justice
  • The continued recruitment of more officers, beyond the Home Office funded recruitment programme
  • Continuation of the Rural Crime Task Force and the introduction of a Drugs Task Force
  • Improving essential technological infrastructure and systems to better support service delivery 

Matthew added: “Recruitment of additional police officers continues and is accelerating with a further increase of 244 officers in 2022/23 (including 13 for the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit). Beyond the national Police Uplift programme, I will seek to increase numbers to ensure the size of the Force at least keeps pace with our population growth. 

“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 in our area. 

“In addition to the core policing budget, my work to reduce reoffending will improve the chances of those coming out of prison, as well as preventing more people from becoming victims in the future. This is part of my focus on crime prevention that also means a longer term partnership with local councils to help address anti-social behaviour across Thames Valley.”

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 20p 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.”