Crime and Policing Comparator

Thames Valley Police is the largest non-metropolitan force in England which protects and serves the diverse counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

The three counties are divided into 15 Local Police Areas (LPAs), led by a commander who is responsible for performance and service at a local level.

During 2010/11, crime across Thames Valley fell by seven per cent overall which means there were 12,900 fewer victims of crime compared with the year before. As well as an overall fall in crime there were also significant reductions in the number of burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence and serious sexual offences.

Prior to 2010, Thames Valley Police recognised that they needed to improve the way crime was being investigated across the Force. Project Morse was introduced which looked at each and every part of the investigation process from maximising forensic opportunities to how offenders are interviewed in custody. Additional training was given across the Force and as a result the number of offenders being charged with serious crimes has increased significantly.

Despite the reduction in budgets and the need to make savings, Thames Valley Police is committed to protecting frontline policing. The Force’s productivity strategy has ensured that there will be no cuts in the number of officers on patrol or in neighbourhood policing teams.

Violence

Reducing incidents of serious violence against victims remains a priority for Thames Valley Police. In 2010/11, violence against a person fell by over 3,000 offences across the area but we still have more work to do. Increased focus has been placed on early intervention which is reflected by the increase in the number of public order offences. Officers are intervening early by dealing with public order offences before they can escalate into something more serious.

The work we are doing continues to have a positive impact on reducing violence as the first quarter for 2011/12 shows a further reduction of 29.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Serious Acquisitive Crime

This includes burglary, robbery and vehicle crime and during 2010/11 there were 5,400 fewer of these offences across the Force. The number of offenders being charged with these offences also increased significantly last year compared to the year before due to increased focus on improving investigation of crimes that have a real impact on the victim.

Already in the first quarter of 2011/12 we have seen a further reduction of 13.4 per cent in the number of offences committed compared to the same period last year.

Anti-social behaviour

Thames Valley Police is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and its impact on communities, working closely with our partners. This close partnership working resulted in a 19 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents in 2010/11 compared with the year before.

The Force also introduced a new approach to risk assessing reports of ASB to enable us to identify vulnerable and repeat victims at an early stage and provide a service that meets the individual needs of our diverse community members.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “I welcome the fact that the overall level of crime across the Thames Valley area, including the more serious categories of crime such as violence, sexual offences and robbery, has fallen.

“I am also pleased with the improvement in detection rates and the figures released by the British Crime Survey, which shows a greater increase in public confidence in Thames Valley Police. This is a testament to the hard work of both our officers and staff, who are dedicated to ensuring our communities are a safe place to live and work in.

“Despite the Force’s latest figures comparing favourably to the national trend, we are always committed to improving our performance further.”

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