Four extra police officers, dedicated to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the Royal Borough, are proposed to be recruited to support community safety and enhanced local partnership working between the council and police.
The proposed £240,000 investment from the council is part of the budget plans for 2023/24, which Cabinet is recommending to Full Council for discussion and approval on Tuesday 21 February, as part of the budget-setting process.
If confirmed by Full Council, four additional warranted police officers will join the Neighbourhood Policing Team working across the Royal Borough, initially for a period of three years, enhancing the council’s existing partnership work with Thames Valley Police to address key local crime issues and anti-social behaviour affecting communities and the environment.
Councillor David Cannon, Cabinet Member for Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime, and Public Protection, said: “In our recent Resident Survey, people mention safety and low crime as a key factor making their local area a good place to live, with 40 per cent saying they aren’t concerned about anti-social behaviour in their local area. This is great – however a further 27 per cent report they are concerned about ASB in their local area, some listing crime as a key worry, so clearly it’s a mixed picture and one that needs addressing at a local level.
“This significant investment from the council would bring four additional police officers dedicated to the Royal Borough, over and above the existing force establishment in our area. They would bolster local joint working between our own Community Safety Team, Thames Valley Police and other partners, further strengthening the local police presence and our collective local response to crime and anti-social behaviour in all its forms, in order to maintain and improve community safety across our borough.
“The Thames Valley is a large and varied force area, we accept that police can’t be everywhere all the time and are often directed to towns with bigger issues. However, local experiences and perceptions in areas like ours also matter and affect people’s lives. This pioneering initiative, the first of its type in the Thames Valley, would add four extra officers to the Neighbourhood Policing Team dedicated to the Royal Borough, to enhance our partnership working at a local level and focus more strongly on tackling local crime and anti-social behaviour issues at a community level.
“If the required funding is confirmed by Full Council, the council will work with Thames Valley Police to engage with the community to identify which local policing and community safety issues should be the initial local priorities for these extra officers, helping to focus our partnership work involving them.”
Matthew Barber, Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I welcome this proposed investment from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead as a sign of our continued strong partnership between the police and the council.
“In my budget set out last month, I have already announced an additional 80 community police officers across the Thames Valley to boost neighbourhood policing. This additional investment will be a welcome addition and mean a further four police constables can be recruited to specifically boost the number of officers in Windsor and Maidenhead; providing resources over and above that which would otherwise have been possible.
“This is the first arrangement of its kind in the Thames Valley relating to police officers. Similar arrangements have been in place for many years regarding PCSOs and other forces have successfully used such arrangements for additional police officers.”