Inspectors praise police, but officer morale ‘low’

Police officer numbers are down by 2 per cent

Police officer numbers are down by 2 per cent

First published in News
Last updated
by , Business reporter. Call me on 01865 425439

INSPECTORS have praised Thames Valley Police for making savings while increasing the number of officers and staff in frontline roles.

A report released today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary for England and Wales (HMIC) says the force’s achievement is commendable and demonstrates its ambition and commitment to keep communities safe.

Its overall judgement is that the force provides good value for money and that it’s on track to save almost £59 million by March 2015 with £12.4m this financial year and £10.8m the following year, 2015/16.

The Responding to Austerity report states: “As a proportion of its overall budget, this savings requirement of 12 per cent is lower than the value for England and Wales; however, Thames Valley was a comparatively efficient force at the beginning of this spending review and this meant it had to work harder than some other forces in order to find additional savings.”

And inspectors said that despite these challenges the force had been able to deploy an extra 19 officers to local policing areas and a further 15 to child protection.

But those involved in the report said a number of officers and staff had described morale in the force as being low with some expressing the view that change was “being done to them”. And it said: “Despite some communication arrangements being in place, some staff and officers were unaware of issues facing the force and the rationale for the proposed changes being progressed.”

TVP’s overall grade of good was in line with 34 other police forces. Five forces received an ‘outstanding’ grade while three were given a grade to ‘require improvement’.

The report also reveals that by March next year there will be a drop in the number of police officers of 77, but this is much lower than the England and Wales average of an 11 per cent drop – it is, in fact, two per cent for Thames Valley.

However, the number of special constables, who are volunteers, will jump by 72 per cent to 700 by next year.

Special constables have the same powers as professional police, including the ability to make arrests.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “We are pleased the report recognises Thames Valley Police’s dedication to providing a high quality policing service to the communities we serve.

“It reinforces our belief that we are making the right decisions which have resulted in crime in the Thames Valley being at its lowest for 25 years, which is something we can be very proud of.”

However, she warned that TVP needed to cut its budget by an additional £38 million over the next three years.

She said: “This will be really tough, but we will do everything we can to ensure that the service to the public is protected.”

 

The main findings

  • Recorded crime down 25 per cent
  • £58.9 million in total cost savings
  • 70 per cent of savings from pay-related costs
  • Police officer numbers down by 2 per cent
  • Volunteer special constables up by 72 per cent
  • Staff morale found to be “low”

Our top stories:

Six 'all clear' women told they have cancer after investigation into Oxfordshire Breast Screening Service assessments

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Thursday 18th December 2014

SIX women who were given the all clear after breast cancer screening have been told they have the disease following an investigation.

Crash involving car and cyclist closes road in Blackbird Leys

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:30pm Thursday 18th December 2014

A collision involving a cyclist and a car has taken place in Blackbird Leys, closing a road.

Man 'exposed himself' to woman at bus stop in St Clement's

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:02am Thursday 18th December 2014

A MAN who exposed himself to a woman in Headington is being sought by police.

Voting public save the Jack FM Christmas turkeys from being butchered

Oxford Mail:

10:04am Thursday 18th December 2014

THE FATE of two turkeys on an Oxfordshire farm this Christmas was decided by an online poll by radio station JACKfm.

Oxford United's young guns relishing Manchester City clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).

Candlelight vigil in Oxford for victims of Peshawar massacre

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

FAMILIES gathered by candlelight at a vigil for youngsters and their teachers targeted in a Taliban terrorist attack.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:14am Wed 23 Jul 14

UKNo.1 says...

Don't you just feel sorry for them. Wages paid for by the public, nice fat pension when they retire, driving around in cars whilst the 'Specials' face the public and trying to catch as many speeding motorists as possible. No wonder the public have little sympathy for them these days.
Don't you just feel sorry for them. Wages paid for by the public, nice fat pension when they retire, driving around in cars whilst the 'Specials' face the public and trying to catch as many speeding motorists as possible. No wonder the public have little sympathy for them these days. UKNo.1
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree