Superintendent Tim Metcalfe gives his quarterly update for Aylesbury Vale local policing area:
“This update presents a brief outline of the last three months work that my team, working with our local partners, have undertaken to make Aylesbury Vale safer. It also suggests some ways in which the public can help us in realising this objective. It feels like it has been a busy spring and summer so far but I will do my best to highlight the key issues.
1. Summer events
- Since the last update the local policing team have been involved in a number of national and local summer events. Saturday 19 May saw Thames Valley Police deliver its single largest operation to date in policing the wedding of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a remarkable day and a great privilege for the force to police such a historic occasion. A considerable number of Aylesbury Vale officers lined the route in Windsor in what was a very memorable, and rather warm, day.
- Local officers have also supported Royal Ascot, the Henley Royal Regatta, the visit of President Trump and will help support Reading Festival at the end of August.
- Within Aylesbury Vale, neighborhood officers have been busy at a number of local events including the Aylesbury WhizzFizzFest and the Aylesbury Soapbox Derby, where the Aylesbury Vale Police Cadets not only achieved 12th place but also helped marshal the event
2. Hidden Harm
‘Hidden Harm’ refers to abuse that is happening in the heart of our communities which remains undetected or unreported. It continues to be a focus for us both locally in Aylesbury Vale and across the Thames Valley Police area in order to raise awareness and understanding of the offences and the signs to spot. Hidden Harm offences include honour based abuse, forced marriage, online child abuse, and hate crime. Unfortunately, these offences are occurring in Aylesbury Vale but are often ‘hidden in plain sight’ and sometimes are not reported to us. My message is really simple – it is happening in our communities, so please, if you suspect it, report it. We, and our partner organisations, will be far more effective at keeping vulnerable people safe with your help. There is more information regarding Hidden Harm at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/campaigns/hidden-harm-campaign/ and #HiddenHarm will allow you to follow the campaign on our social media channels.
3. Knife crime
There have been a number of very serious incidents involving knives in Aylesbury over the last few weeks. Aylesbury Vale officers are working hard to investigate these offences and ensure that criminals using knives are brought to justice. Officers are also very active in using a variety of tactics to target individuals who chose to carry weapons. In June one team of six officers seized four knives, a ‘stun gun’ and a considerable volume of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. Four men and one teenage boy were arrested in connection with the seizure. Two men, one aged 20 and one aged 29, have been charged with possession of a knife in a public place and possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Knife possession and drug dealing appear to be closely linked with one another. My plea to the public is please stop more people from being seriously hurt by letting us know about drug dealing or people who may be carrying weapons by calling 101. Alternatively, you can anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
4. Residential burglary
Last year we had the same number of residential burglaries as we did in 2016-17. So far this year we have seen a 16% decrease across Aylesbury Vale. This is really positive and I hope that we can continue to reduce this crime type across the area.
The team are very focused on catching the offenders and are increasingly working with colleagues in neighbouring forces in order to do so. However, reducing the opportunities for burglars is also important and we have seen a number of ‘sneak in’ thefts where opportunist thieves have used open windows and doors to commit offences. In the hot weather please be conscious of leaving homes insecure and valuables, particularly vehicle keys, on display.
Our Facebook account is doing well with over 4000 followers. It presents a good insight into some of the work that the team are doing on a day to day basis as well as providing witness appeals and general updates. If you are interested in more dynamic updates regarding your local police team please follow us at www.facebook.com/tvpaylesburyvale
One of the humbling things about undertaking the commander’s role is the quality, and bravery, of the colleagues with whom I work. In early June I presented the following commendations to local officers for their excellent work. The commendations included:
PCs Crown and Ross-Perry were commended for their role in locating a missing person and preventing him from causing serious harm to himself.
PC Harding was awarded for her role as the area’s safeguarding officer, having protected numerous children from serious harm.
DCs Hemming and Francis were commended for their role in bringing a dangerous offender to justice.
PS Dover and PC Duthie were commended for their community engagement work in with residents living in the local traveller sites.
PC Labrum was commended for his efforts to secure 23 rural crime charges against two persons.
PCs Ransome, Millward-Samuels and Piercy were commended in securing the assistance of Channel 4 to create a burglary crime prevention video with our cadets https://twitter.com/TVP_Aylesbury/status/943458076530827264
In April PCs Gray, Burns-Bright and Dudley and Sgts Clarke and Perks all received Chief Constable's Commendations for their professional response to the Waddeson Air Crash in November last year. Finally, in April PC Glen Crosland was awarded the Community Police Officer of the Year award not only for Buckinghamshire but also for the whole TVP area which is a tremendous achievement."