The head of the Roads Policing department in Thames Valley is Chief Inspector Henry Parsons.
He started his police career with the Metropolitan Police Service in 1994. Since transferring to Thames Valley in 1998, he has worked in a variety of roles including response, neighbourhood policing, operational planning and the Force control room, and his previous command role was Deputy Commander for Aylesbury Vale.
Thames Valley Police is determined to reduce the amount of deaths, injuries and crimes on our roads.
We aim to do this through:
- Driver education schemes, in association with DriveTech (UK) plc.
- Speed enforcement.
- Various road safety initiatives.
- The effective policing of road incidents.
We are responsible for policing the roads of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. This includes large parts of the M1, M4, M40 and M25 motorways, a total of 196 miles - more than any other British police force. These roads are among the busiest routes in Europe.
Thames Valley Police’s Roads Policing Unit is a collaborated unit with Hampshire Constabulary. This makes it (combined) the second largest RPU in the country, consisting of 207 police officers in the Thames Valley Police side of the unit.
The Roads Policing department aims to carry out a high quality of service to both public and colleagues alike. We carry out a vital service in policing the strategic road network, while detecting crime and disrupting the criminal activity on our roads.
Within the department, a highly-mobile, proactive team targets crime and disorder. All of our Roads Policing vehicles are fitted with state-of-the-art video recording equipment. This identifies offenders and presents evidence to the courts. Thames Valley Police deploys unmarked vehicles which are video-equipped in order to prevent and detect traffic offences and catch criminals.
Its resources are focussed on delivering the national Roads Policing Strategy, which aims to:
• Reduce road casualties
• Deny criminals use of the roads by enforcing the law
• Tackle the threat of terrorism
• Reduce anti-social use of vehicles
• Enhance public confidence and reassurance by patrolling the roads
The unit is made up of patrol officers, a proactive team (targeted at criminals using the roads), a Road Death Investigation Team, the Forensic Collision Investigation Unit , the safety camera team, traffic management officers , the Fixed Penalty Support Unit, and is supported by a team of volunteers and Special Constables. These combine into a comprehensive team who deliver targeted enforcement, education and provide a deterrent to make the roads safer and above all reduce the volume of those killed or seriously injured on the roads.
The team focuses its enforcement activity on the 'fatal four' offences of speed, distraction (including mobile phones), seatbelts and drink/drug driving as research shows that activity here is the most likely to reduce road death. Within national guidelines, a range of driver education courses are offered where appropriate as an alternative to prosecution. These are delivered in partnership with AA Drivetech. In addition, we work with colleagues from South Central Ambulance Service and the Fire & Rescue Services to deliver the innovative and powerful 'Safe Drive – Stay Alive' presentation to over 15,000 young people a year across the region.
Roads Policing officers
Our officers work alongside many other agencies, including:
- The Government's vehicle inspectorate, who make sure that all vehicles using our roads are mechanically-sound and environmentally-friendly. They prevent overweight vehicles from damaging our roads and dangerously overloading vehicles beyond their weight limits.
- Customs and Excise officers, who pursue illegal imports such as drugs and the illegal use of duty free fuels.
For more information on how we police the roads in Thames Valley and how you as a driver or road user can make our roads safer, visit our Road safety section.