POLICE have warned communities around Blenheim Palace that they will see an increase in police presence due to the upcoming European Political Community meeting.

The event, which brings together numerous leaders from across Europe, is due to take place on Thursday (July 18) at the palace.

As a result, Thames Valley Police have increased their patrols around Woodstock and the surrounding villages to 'support residents and business owners'.

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Teams involved include the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, Mounted Section, tactical cycling unit and drones unit.

Furthermore, officers from Project Servator, a policing tactic used to disrupt a range of criminality, will also be deployed in and around Blenheim Palace.

The scheme, which was officially launched last month, sees police, partners, business owners and the public working together to create a 'network of vigilance to disrupt offenders from gathering information in busy areas'. 

Cherwell and West Oxfordshire local policing area commander Superintendent Jen Hogben said: “My number one priority is to ensure the safety of the local community before and during this historic event.

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“While I fully appreciate that the coming days will see some disruption to day-to-day life in and around Blenheim Palace, we and our partners are doing our best to keep this to a minimum.

“Our neighbourhood policing teams have already been out speaking with residents and business owners in recent weeks, listening to their concerns and offering reassurance.

“This will be continuing and increasing as more policing teams support our patrols. The local community can, as always, ask our uniformed officers any questions they have or raise any concerns.

“We rely on our community to help us as well; Woodstock and the nearby villages have a strong community, and I would ask anybody who sees anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, to please report this to us. 

“You can do so either by talking to any of our officers if you see them out and about, or by reporting it to us via our website or by calling 101.

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“The measures that we have put in place are designed to ensure day-to-day policing of Cherwell and West Oxfordshire is not impacted by our operation.

“If you need to contact us about something, you can contact us via the usual methods of contacting us via our website or by calling 101.

“If a crime is in progress or someone is in immediate danger, you should always call 999 and we will be there to help you.”