Thames Valley Police is looking to review the structure of local policing. The last review took place in 2010. The force says that it is now working in a more complex environment and following extensive research and analysis two proposals for how it delivers local policing are being considered:
- A continuation of the current 11 Local Policing Area (LPA) model, but with enhancements where possible, or
- A five-area command model; the five areas would be Oxfordshire, Berkshire West, Berkshire East, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
The review aims to enhance the force’s service, ‘with no decision being made to the detriment of neighbourhood policing.’ The driver for the review is about addressing changes in policing and in society so that the force is fit for the future..
Both proposals will result in 80 additional neighbourhood officers, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner. A new PCSO supervisor role will also be trialled to provide career progression for existing PCSOs.
The proposals also include the creation of a new Harm Reduction Unit providing stronger governance and more consistent harm reduction activity, such as the monitoring and enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders. This will be done across areas and focus on safeguarding and harm prevention opportunities within mental health, exploitation of children and vulnerable adults and domestic abuse.
The consultation concludes, ‘Some proposals work across both models, however within those we have found benefits and resource easier to find within a five-area command model than the existing 11 LPA model.’ Decisions about any change to the current operating model will be confirmed after all public feedback has been considered.