Thames Valley Police Public Order department has three main areas of responsibility.
- Providing 24/7 tactical advice for spontaneous and pre-planned incidents or events which have or may have the potential of resulting in public disorder.
- Training police officers throughout Thames Valley Police in all matters related to public order – including tactical communication and incident management.
- Providing operational support in a number of specialist fields such as protester and obstacle removal, working at heights, and specialist building entry.
Public order within the police world is not simply about equipping officers with riot equipment, big sticks and shields. It relates to keeping the peace within all of our neighbourhoods.
The team supports any operational incident or event where there is a risk to public safety, including:
- Emergency requests for assistance – for example, domestic abuse incidents and alcohol-related crime and disorder.
- Major sporting events - such as horse racing events, like Royal Ascot.
- Football events – in Reading, Milton Keynes, Oxford and High Wycombe.
- Large music events – for example, Reading Festival, and Glade Festival.
- Pre-planned lawful demonstrations throughout the Force – for example, animal rights demonstrations and Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) protests.
The Public Order department also supports partners such as the fire and ambulance services and local authorities to make sure that they remain safe when they are deployed operationally.
As a National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) (opens new window) accredited training centre, Thames Valley Police’s Public Order department also provides training to other police forces to nationally-accredited standards.
The department is led by an inspector who supervises a sergeant, six constables and two police support staff. It is based at Heyford Park in Oxfordshire.