Our new Prime Minister has launched a recruitment drive – starting in September – to deliver 20,000 new police officers and make our streets safer. A new national policing board, chaired by the Home Secretary and bringing together key police leaders, will hold the police to account for meeting this target and drive the national response to the most pressing issues that affect communities right across the country. The government has also announced it will urgently review a pilot which makes it simpler for officers to use stop and search powers, with a view to rolling this out across all forces.
I strongly welcome these announcements.
Ahead of the next Strategic Independent Advisory Group meeting at Thames Valley Police (TVP) HQ next week, I wanted to set out some of the issues I have put on the agenda for discussion. There are particular issues that Thames Valley Police needs to urgently address in recording and responding to crime. These are primarily about administration and leadership – not government resources:
- The Office for National Statistics revealed last week that there had been an almost 10% increase in recorded crimes across Berkshire, in comparison to just under 8% in England and Wales. Hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual crimes and stalking in particular had risen due to more victims phoning the police to report it. Burglary however is still the major concern for local residents.
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) this week gave TVP an Inadequate rating, criticising the force for “failing to correctly identify and record domestic abuse and rape crimes.”
I’ll post an update after the meeting with TVP’s explanation and plan of action. Other issues on the agenda include standing items on stop and search, hate crime, and diversity – as well as a discussion on domestic abuse in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities.