Security in Reading, with Thames Valley Police

In this episode of the Watchword Security blog we speak to PCSO Emily Treadgold from Thames Valley Police about security in Reading and the surrounding area.

How long have you served in the police and what roles have you done within it?

I’ve been a PCSO for a year now, there are other PCSO’s within my team that have been in for up to 13 years.

How would you summarise the structure of the police force in the Thames Valley and the different teams within it?

Neighbourhood Policing emphasises a local approach to policing that is accessible to the public and responsive to the needs and priorities of communities.

Neighbourhood Policing provides communities with a visible presence. Delivered fairly and effectively, Neighbourhood Policing builds public confidence, encourages compliance with the law and secures police legitimacy . Public confidence and perceptions of legitimacy are vital to effective, efficient and fair policing. Citizens who trust and accept the authority of the police are more likely to obey the law . Intelligence gathering, crime prevention and crime investigation all depend on public confidence and trust. A community whose residents mistrust the police can create a climate of impunity for serious offenders, increasing the vulnerability of those living amongst them.

Good Neighbourhood Policing can enhance trust and legitimacy and increase citizen satisfaction. Neighbourhood Policing also presents an opportunity to address demand management and behaviour change.

NPTs can make communities safer by adopting a strategy comprised of four elements:

•Visibility: To reassure communities through a police presence both physically and virtually (Social media)

•Engagement: To better understand the ‘grain’ of communities, their needs, assets, and resources

•Problem-solving: To work with other agencies and the community to prevent and reduce demand and build policing capacity.

Community Resilience: To mobilise social capital within communities.

Shift teams are the ones that work day and night, respond to majority of the immediate jobs, they will respond to all jobs which vary from low level crime to high level crime.

· Is there a model for which team deal with particular incidents or events? How does it work?

For neighbourhood teams we have our area, for example mine is Twyford, I share the area with another PCSO and a Police Officer, within this we would share out the jobs that come in which range from neighbourhood disputes to investigations for other officers that dealt with a case first hand and need house to house completing etc.

The local ‘shift’ team operate on a case by case allocation basis. It goes to whoever is available and they will call up for jobs.

· Are there any patterns in crime or anti-social behaviour that you see in the local area?

At the minute it is anti-social behaviour, theft from motor vehicles, neighbourhood disputes and shop lifting. A lot which are reduced by effective patrols.

· What are the biggest problems for the police on a local scale?

I can’t speak for the whole of the police force locally but I would say burglaries are amongst the most common crimes we have in and around Reading.