Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police

Infobox UK Police
name= Thames Valley Police
area= Berkshire
start= 1968
population= 2.1 million
size= 5,700 km²
officers= 4,189
title= Chief Constable
head= Sara Thornton
divname= BCUs
divno= 5
stations= 48
HQ= Kidlington


Thames Valley Police is one of the largest Home Office police services in England and the largest non-metropolitan one, covering 2200 sq mi (5,700 km²) and a population of 2.1 million. The force is responsible for the Thames Valley area covered by the ceremonial counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. [cite web | url = | title = About Thames Valley Police | publisher = Thames Valley Police | accessdate = March 22 | accessyear = 2007] . Its area of coverage has a population of 2,180,200 people. The force employs 7,815 people, made up of 4,165 police officers, 3,150 police staff, and over 500 Police Community Support Officers. 250 Special Constables and 500 volunteers also support the force in its work. Its motto is "Sit pax in valle tamesis" (Latin: 'Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley'); [cite web | publisher = Thames Valley Police | url = | title = Thames Valley Police Authority — Coat of Arms | accessdate = October 25 | accessyear = 2005] its slogan is "reducing crime, disorder and fear".

The Chief Constable of the force is Sara Thornton who was promoted to the position in April 2007.

Police authority

Thames Valley Police Authority has 10 elected members, with two from Oxfordshire County Council, one from Buckinghamshire County Council, and one each from the unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Milton Keynes, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, West Berkshire, and Windsor and Maidenhead. There are three justices of the peace, one each from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. [cite web | publisher = Thames Valley Police Authority | url = | title = Who we are — Members | accessdate = January 24 | accessyear = 2006]


Thames Valley Constabulary, as it was originally known, was formed in 1968 by the amalgamation of Buckinghamshire Constabulary, Berkshire Constabulary, Oxford City Police, Oxfordshire Constabulary and Reading Borough Police.

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 20 March 2006 would see the force stay as a single strategic police force for the area, a merger with Hampshire Constabulary having been rejected. [Cite web|url=|title=Police forces 'to be cut to 24'|accessdate=2007-04-05|publisher=BBC News|year=2006]


The force is split into five Basic Command Units (BCUs), these being Oxfordshire, Berkshire West, Berkshire East, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. In turn each BCU is split into Local Policing Areas (LPAs) that are coterminous with local authority boundaries.

The headquarters of Thames Valley Police is at Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire. The force is covered by two control rooms, with the one in Abingdon covering Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, and one in Milton Keynes covering the Borough of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire East.

The two "PECs" (Police Enquiry Centres) were formed in 2003, following the closure of local control rooms, to support the newly formed control rooms in Abingdon and Milton Keynes. They are located in Windsor police station and in a business park close to the Force Headquarters in Kidlington. The PECs handle non-emergency calls from the public.

Sulhamstead House in Sulhamstead is the Thames Valley Police training college, which also houses the Thames Valley Police Museum.

There are also several Roads Policing bases at strategic locations around the force at Abingdon, Bicester, Taplow, Amersham, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Three Mile Cross and Chieveley.

In the media

The most famous Thames Valley Police officer may be the fictional Inspector Morse (along with his aide, Sergeant Lewis), the main character in 13 novels by Colin Dexter and 33 television episodes by ITV.

In 1982 the BBC broadcast a nine part series by Roger Graef and Charles Stewart entitled "Police," which showed a fly-on-the-wall account of Thames Valley's E Division based in Reading. This featured the rather demeaning treatment of a female victim of rape which was much discussed in the media at the time.

Beginning in 2003 a Sky1 programme, "Road Wars", followed the Roads Policing Proactive Team while they carried out their duties. This programme continues to film such duties and now includes members of the dog section.

ee also

*Policing in the United Kingdom
*List of police forces in the United Kingdom
*Thames Valley
*Thames Valley Police Museum


External links

* [ Thames Valley Police official website]
* [ Thames Valley Police Authority]
* [ Sulhamstead House]
* [$FILE/Home%20Office%20Circular%20098%20-%201968.pdf Home Office circular 68-1968 announcing the force's creation]

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