Thames Valley Police has a team of chaplains who provide independent and confidential pastoral support to Force personnel and their families.
The Force chaplains are independent and represent a range of faiths and denominations. They are led by a full-time chaplain, Reverend David Wilbraham. The majority of UK police forces employ chaplains.
What do police chaplains do?
Force chaplains are not spiritual welfare officers, counsellors or psychologists. Their role is unique and independent. They seek to support staff by being alongside them in all aspects of their duties and at their time of need. Their role is to:
- Support and encourage all staff and their families, regardless of religious belief.
- Build relationships and networks between local faith leaders/groups and Thames Valley Police.
- Respect and reflect the diversity of belief within the Force and wider community.
- Value each individual member of the Force and help staff to realise their full potential.
- Work with all staff, including community and diversity officers (CADOs), local police officers, police community support officers, police commanders, independent advisory groups, and the Diversity Unit.
Why are police chaplains important?
Police work can be difficult, often daunting and sometimes dangerous. Force chaplains aim to:
- Develop a clear and strong link with operational policing.
- Get to know the people that they serve, and understand the job they do.
- Build relationships based on friendship and trust. For example, by visiting police stations, attending training sessions, and spending time on shift with police officers.
- Harness the energy and support of our communities and improve community cohesion.
- Promote and enhance Neighbourhood Policing initiatives, such as ‘Adopt-a-Cop’.
- Provide a coordinated and professional faith group response to major incidents.