Covering the 2,200 square miles of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, we patrol 196 miles of motorway - the largest stretch of motorway in Britain - and serve a population of 2.1 million, plus the six million visitors who come every year in search of history, royalty and a day at the races.
Our turf covers a diverse area, from the new town of Milton Keynes in the north, to the historic town of Windsor in the south, from the dreaming spires of Oxford to the silicon valley of Bracknell.
These areas are policed by around 4,189 officers, 280 special constables, 298 volunteers and 2,454 police staff.
The Thames Valley area plays host to a wide variety of special events including Henley Royal Regatta, Newbury and Ascot races, Reading Festival and state visits at Windsor Castle.
Our Protection Group officers deal with the largest protection commitment outside the Metropolitan Police area, including the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers, until this summer Prince Harry’s school Eton, the Duke of York’s residence and the private homes of a number of past and present MPs and ministers. Last year, as well as large events like the Queen’s Jubilee tour, our Protection Group officers carried out 276 VIP and royalty commitments, 302 military commitments and 21 category A prisoner escorts - deemed necessary if the prisoner is vulnerable or an escape risk.
These major commitments are only a very small part of the picture. We work closely with the communities we serve, and our many partners in local authorities and the criminal justice system. By working together we can use a problem-solving approach to increase safety, convict and deter offenders and be tough on crime and criminals.
Just to cover off some of the most basic questions asked in force specific, here are a few answers.
If you have any generic questions, please PM me and I will try to include a response here ASAP.
What baton do you carry?
TVP used to carry the PR24-XTS (side handled, extendable) baton but now all officers with Thames Valley Police carry the Monadnock Autolock.
Do TVP specials get:
Paid? - Paid is not really the word to use. Special Constables within Thames Valley Police do receive a duties payment for each duty they do depending on the amount of hours work. This is known as a 'substinence allowance'. This can range from £8 upto £20 per duty. You can also claim for your petrol mileage as long as you have the right VAT recipts etc to cover that period of claim.
Personal issue Airwave? - yes, with home charger, spare battery, ear-piece and remote mic.
Personal issue dual-purpose vest? - yes.
Personal issue anything else? - pretty universally yes, anything the regulars get issued for routine policing purposes, so do we apart from PSU Boots, Trousers etc.
Can TVP specials drive and if so, can they use blues & twos?
Specials in TVP can apply for a driving permit known as "Standard - Non Response". This is a one-week course and allows the officer to drive the Vauxhall Astra (or similar/lower engine size vehicles) for patrol purposes.
Officers may NOT respond to incidents using blue lights and sirens but can attend immediate incidents (if suitably experienced) at routine speeds.
Officers may attempt to stop vehicles in accordance with their training - this may include use of the blue lights and siren. If the vehicle fails to stop, however, officers are not qualified or permitted to pursue.
Officers may also seek certification to drive carriers/transits and 4x4 vehicles (on and off road). Towing permits, Stopstick authorisation and fast roads training are also available and Specials can also be trained on the Ultralyte 20/20 Speed detection device.
Do TVP specials undertake specialist roles (including public order duties)?
As a matter of routine - no. There are no formal attachments to specialist units (eg. traffic / dogs / airsupport) and specials do not currently receive training to undertake MAST / public order duties.
That said, with appropriate clearance from supervising officers, there is no reason why a special constabulary officer may not be permitted to work with a specialist department on an ad-hoc / "come and see" basis.
Do TVP specials ever work in plain clothes?
We can, we do - but always as part of pre-planned and approved operations.
Our core role remains to suppport our uniformed regular colleagues.
Do TVP specials wear the SC&Crown on their epaulettes?
Yes - they also have unique 4-digit shoulder numbers.
Rank/grade structure & insignia as follows:
Special Constable - SC&Crown + 4 digit shoulder number
Section Sergeant - SC&Crown, one bar + 4 digit shoulder number
Special Inspector - SC&Crown, two bars, no shoulder number
Special Chief Inspector - SC&Crown, three bars, no shoulder number
Chief Officer - SC&Crown, four bars, no shoulder number
How well integrated are specials and regulars?
The way specials work with regulars can vary from officer to officer, shift to shift, station to station... but generally intergration is excellent, the contribution of the special constabulary is valued and most specials work routinely with their regular colleagues.
How do I join the TVP special constabulary?
You can call 01865 846612
Alternatively, see the separate pinned threads for full details.
Edited by mike_ramsden, 09 November 2007 - 04:36 PM.