Chief Constable’s update – April 2011

Thursday 07 April 2011, 10:15am

The end of the financial and performance year presents a good opportunity to inform you about several key developments.

Force performance

The Police Authority set four crime targets for us this year and all four have been met. Arguably, the most important was the target to reduce burglary, robbery and vehicle crime by two per cent. In fact, we have cut these crimes by more than 16 per cent compared with last year. The Police Authority also set detection targets for burglary, robbery and vehicle crime, violence and serious sexual assault. All three targets were surpassed and we ended the year with a detection rate for burglary, robbery and vehicle crime of 12.8 per cent, a detection rate for violence of 38.7 per cent and a detection rate for serious sexual assault of 27.2 per cent.

Force restructure

In order to cut our budget in a way which protected the service we deliver to the public of Thames Valley we have re-organised the force and reduced a management layer as of 4 April.  Essentially, I have removed the Basic Command Unit (BCU) level so that the 15 local commanders, whose areas are coterminous with the Community Safety Partnerships, report directly to headquarters. This change has enabled me to reduce both the number of officers in senior ranks and the number of support departments which operated at this middle level.

While there is no doubt that the budget cuts have been a powerful driver of change, I strongly believe that the new structure will enable us to better focus on local policing. In particular, I will ensure that my assistant chief constables are aligned to the three counties and can engage at the local level.

  • Read the Chief Constable’s update in full, including comment around the Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) report on the frontline of policing, and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) submission on the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.