Members of OCF’s responsible business group Reciprocate gathered at Thames Valley Police HQ South in Kidlington last night to learn more about the force’s community policing strategies and understand the impact of cybercrime. The launch of the Reciprocate website was also announced.
Representatives from local responsible businesses received a warm welcome from Thames Valley Police, with Chief Constable Francis Habgood and Chief Superintendent Andy Boyd endorsing the Reciprocate initiative. There was a chance to network with fellow members over a cup of tea and a sandwich, followed by a series of informative and inspiring talks from senior officers from the force.
OCF’s Chief Executive Jayne Woodley opened proceedings, giving an update on several Reciprocate projects that were now coming to fruition: a new work experience handbook for businesses, encouraging them to offer placements to students from less well connected backgrounds; the announcement that OCF was committed to offering brokerage and consultancy to businesses wanting to boost employee volunteering; and the launch of the new Reciprocate website, where members would be able to access directories of fellow members, project updates and best-practice resources. Guests received a copy of the work experience handbook at the event – copies of this item are available on request.
Watch a video of Jayne’s intro here:
Following this was an introduction to current policing trends from Francis Habgood, which emphasised the shift in the type of crime away from those activities that the police have traditionally had to address such as burglaries, and towards more ‘hidden’ crimes such as cybercrime. This was followed by some insights into the rise of online criminal activity from DCI Darran Hill, which showed the devastating impact cybercrime can have on businesses, and gave advice on how to prevent cyber attacks by educating staff.
Detective Superintendent Chris Ward then gave a talk on the investigation he led into the murder of local teenager Jayden Parkinson. This revealed that the key piece of evidence leading to the conviction of Jayden’s killer was given by a member of the public, who volunteered information about a suspicious incident. Chief Superintendent Andy Boyd went on to emphasise that this really epitomised what the police are trying to achieve in involving the whole community in their work. He talked about the Peelian Principles of policing, quoting Sir Robert Peel’s definition: “the police are the people, the people are the police”, and the police’s mission to protect their fellow citizens, with their consent and assistance. He encouraged businesses to position themselves as central pillars of the community, to understand the problems on their doorsteps by referring to resources such as Oxfordshire Uncovered, and to make their staff aware of opportunities to volunteer with schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch or in roles such as a Police Support Volunteer with TVP’s Citizens in Policing programme.
At the end of the evening there was the chance for guests to meet officers trained in advanced driving and to see an Armoured Response Vehicle up close – one of just five in the region. Several guests signed up for ‘ride-alongs’ on a police patrol.