New statistics show Thames Valley Police received nearly one million contacts from the public, attended 170,000 incidents, and made 31,000 arrests, in a single year – with officers driving more than 13 million miles in the process.
As part of the force’s ongoing commitment to inform the public of the work they do, today (19/5) Thames Valley Police has released statistics on activity from the last financial year, from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
A year like no other
This period saw the force undertake one of the largest policing operations in its history with the committal service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Windsor.
They also policed Reading Festival, Royal Ascot, Henley Regatta, and are proud to have policed four of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 matches at Stadium MK.
Last year, police officers made 30,903 arrests in relation to a range of crimes, attended over 8,000 road traffic collisions, found 5,735 missing people, and sadly attended 1,700 tragic sudden deaths, which involves supporting families at the most difficult time.
Action on domestic abuse and violence against women and girls
Officers are completely committed to tackling domestic violence, with 30% of all arrests made being related to domestic violence.
Extensive focus on domestic abuse has led to a 27% increase in formal action for domestic abuse cases (3,138 to 3,987).
The force has seen a 52% increase in charges for sexual offences (not including rape) and a 36% increase in stalking and harassment charges.
Last year also saw a slight drop in charges brought in rape cases (from 126 to 121). However, this is being monitoring very closely, and with a new structure in place to scrutinise investigations into rape and sexual offences, the force is confident of improved outcomes for victims.
In April last year, the force launched its strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, focused on dealing with perpetrators and working with partners to identify sexual and violent offending at the earliest opportunity. It also remains fully committed to targeting those who offend and display predatory behaviour in the night-time economy.
Tackling serious violence and knife crime continues to be a priority. Through proactive work, there has been a 42% decrease in homicide cases from the previous year and arrested 841 people for crimes where a knife is involved, which is a two per cent rise.
Tackling knife-enabled crime in all its forms
Operation Deter launched in Milton Keynes, which has also now been rolled out to Aylesbury, Slough, and Reading. Under this initiative, individuals arrested over the age of 18 for a knife-related offence will, wherever possible, be charged and remanded immediately and put before the courts.
If the individual is under 18, they will be visited by the Youth Offending Team and a plan is drawn up for intervention and rapid commencement of the Youth Justice Process.
Additionally, Thames Valley Police has supported the Knife Angel being hosted in Milton Keynes and Slough, where a commitment was made by the force and partners to stand together on tackling serious violence.
In the past 12 months, officers began using a new application developed by the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit to target violence hotspot areas.
So far, there have been 10,000 patrols to reduce crime and tackle those carrying knives.
Building confidence among all our communities
The Serious and Organised Crime Unit arrested 628 offenders involved in organised crime and seized and confiscated 34 firearms. In addition, the team secured 107 convictions amounting to more than 503 years in prison and safeguarded 149 adults and children believed to be at risk from these criminal enterprises.
On the roads, officers from Roads Policing and response teams attended over 8,700 road traffic collisions, with 2,144 arrests for drink driving, 1,305 people arrested for driving while using a mobile phone, 1,610 people arrested for not wearing a seatbelt, and over 166,000 people were caught speeding through speed cameras and through officer detected speeding.
As these numbers show, the force plays a vital role in protecting Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Officers and staff work with pride and professionalism, and strive to do their best for our communities every day.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The annual figures released today by Thames Valley Police show the breadth and scale of the work carried out by officers to help keep our communities safe.
“The force has responded to high levels of demand over the last year and I praise officers, staff and volunteers for their continued hard work and performance. I recognise the challenges faced across policing but am confident in the commitment of the force in its efforts to address these challenges and make improvements to best serve our communities.
“As I announced last month Thames Valley Police now has more officers than ever before. I am determined to ensure that this increase will benefit communities across the Thames Valley where we will also see a doubling of neighbourhood officers working locally to prevent and cut crime as part of a focus to strengthen community policing.”
Chief Constable Jason Hogg said: “Over the last year, we’ve responded to almost one million contacts from the public and attended 170,000 incidents. That’s an incredible amount for our force.
“I’m very proud of the job our officers, staff and volunteers do in keeping our communities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire safe, not only by responding to emergencies but also disrupting and preventing crime across our area.
“Increased charges for knife crime and sexual offences show how our proactive work targeting these crime types is showing real progress. But behind these numbers are the victims of crime, and a priority for us over the coming year is to place them at the centre of our service and work tirelessly to improve our service to all.”
Numbers at a glance
- 961,268 total contacts from the public – up six per cent from 2021/22
- 372,893 calls to 999; 495,321 calls to 101; and 93,054 online reports
- 5,735 missing persons found in three months, 576 deemed ‘high risk’ and 2,660 were children
- 172,326 incidents attended
- 30,903 arrests made
- 841 knife crime arrests
- 9,373 domestic abuse arrests
- 612 protests, vigils, and car meets evaluated
- 14 homicide cases (13 cases of murder, one of manslaughter)
On the roads:
- 8,704 road traffic collisions attended
- 2,144 arrests for drink driving
- 163,290 speed camera offences
- 2,718 officer detected speeding offences
- 1,305 driving whilst distracted by a mobile phone offences
- 1,610 offences of not wearing a seatbelt
- 2,069 offences of no insurance
This year, teams have clocked up 13 million miles driving around the Thames Valley and beyond to keep our communities safe. That’s the equivalent of driving around the world 500 times.
In the air:
Drones were sent out to 1,004 incidents, up 66% on 605 in the previous year
With four legs:
Police dogs were sent out to 6,990 incidents (up 11% on 6,299 in the previous year). Horses were sent out 505 times, 33 of those times to support other police forces.
Performance in numbers – 2022/23
- 10% increase in the number of crimes resulting in formal action* (28,109 to 31,119)
- 27% increase in formal action for domestic abuse cases (3,138 to 3,987)
- 42% decrease in homicide cases (2021/22: 21 murders, three manslaughters 2022/23: 13 murders, one manslaughter)
- 52% increase in sexual offence charges (281 to 427)
- 36% increase in stalking and harassment charges (676 to 919)
- 4% decrease in rape charges (121 from 126)
- 2% increase in knife enabled crime arrests** (823 to 841)
- 5% increase in knife enabled crime reports (1,254 from 1,235)
- ***23% increase in personal robbery compared with year before (855 to 1,049) however comparing this year’s numbers to the reporting year before Covid (2019/20) figures show a 28% decrease (1,459 to 1,049).
- ***6% increase in residential burglary including sheds and garages compared with year before – (4,796 to 5,080). However, compared with year before Covid, 32% decrease in residential burglary (7,466 to 5,080)
- 6% decrease in possession of drugs (4,672 to 4,131)
- 20% decrease in trafficking of drugs (1,627 to 1,297)
*Formal action includes a case going to court, or an out of court resolution
**Knife enabled crime is any offence of murder, attempted murder, GBH, ABH, rape, robbery, sexual assault or threat to kill where a knife or sharp instrument has been involved
***Increases linked to impact of Covid on previous reporting years