A Government inspection has revealed that Thames Valley Police, the force that covers MK, is seeing ‘more crime than ever before’ and that already-stretched officers are failing to provide an ‘appropriate and timely response to incidents’.
In 2021/22, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services investigated ten areas of policing with three areas ranking ‘good’, four as ‘adequate’ and the rest ‘requiring improvement’.
It also established that Thames Valley Police “doesn’t always have the capacity” to respond to serious incidents within adequate timeframes:
The force is meeting its 15-minute target to attend ‘immediate’ incidents just HALF of the time.
Residents needing an ‘urgent’ response of within an hour only receive it 38% of the time.
The report also established that there has been an “increased demand on response officers” all while the force “records more crime than ever before”. This has resulted in there being “backlogs of incidents waiting for officers to attend”.
Councillor Lauren Townsend, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“This report reveals the devastating impact that the underfunding of our police force is having on Milton Keynes. The Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner has misled the public on police numbers, told us that knife crime is down, but this Government report shows that more needs to be done. We understand that officers work extremely hard, but they need proper resources to feel supported. These officers are overworked, so we need more police to ensure that residents feel safe.”
Lib Dem Councillor Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of the Council, sits on the Police & Crime Panel:
“The Progressive Alliance is calling on the Police & Crime Commissioner to do more. We need more action on the levels of crime in Milton Keynes. CCTV is no replacement for police officers on the streets, and we need assurances that these concerns will be addressed. We need more action, and we need it now.”