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Thames Valley Police
Logo of Thames Valley Police
Motto Sit pax in valle tamesis
Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley
Agency overview
Formed 1968
Preceding agencies
Employees 8065
Volunteers 500
Annual budget £356m
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Thames Valley in the country of England, United Kingdom
Map of Thames Valley Police's jurisdiction.
Size 5,700 km²
Population 2.1 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
Governing body Thames Valley Police Authority
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Kidlington
Police officers 4,186[1]
Police Community Support Officers 521[1]
Agency executive Sara Thornton, Chief Constable
Basic Command Units 5
Stations 48
Airbases RAF Benson & RAF Henlow[2]
Roads Policing Bases Abingdon, Bicester, Taplow, Amersham, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Three Mile Cross and Chieveley
Cars Vauxhall Astras, Vectras & Zafiras, Ford Galaxys & Transits
Helicopters 2 Eurocopter EC 135s[3]
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Thames Valley Police is one of the largest territorial police forces in England and the largest non-metropolitan one, covering 2200 sq mi (5,700 km²) and a population of 2.1 million. The force is responsible for the Thames Valley area covered by the ceremonial counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.[4]. Its area of coverage has a population of 2,180,200 people. The Chief Constable of the force is Sara Thornton who was promoted to the position in April 2007.



The force employs 7,815 people, made up of 4,165 police officers, 3,150 police staff, and over 500 Police Community Support Officers. 250 Special Constables and 500 volunteers also support the force in its work. Its motto is Sit pax in valle tamesis (Latin: 'Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley');[5] its slogan is reducing crime, disorder and fear.

Police authority

Thames Valley Police Authority has 10 elected members, with two from Oxfordshire County Council, one from Buckinghamshire County Council, and one each from the unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Milton Keynes, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, West Berkshire, and Windsor and Maidenhead. There are three justices of the peace, one each from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.[6]


Thames Valley Constabulary, as it was originally known, was formed in 1968 by the amalgamation of Buckinghamshire Constabulary, Berkshire Constabulary, Oxford City Police, Oxfordshire Constabulary and Reading Borough Police.

Proposals made by the Home Secretary on 20 March 2006 would see the force stay as a single strategic police force for the area, a merger with Hampshire Constabulary having been rejected.[7]

Following anti-terror arrests in August 2006 in Buckinghamshire, Metropolitan Police officers were deployed on uniform patrol in the High Wycombe, part of the Thames Valley Police area.[8]


The training college is the former headquarters of the Berkshire County Police

The force is split into five Basic Command Units (BCUs), these being Oxfordshire, Berkshire West, Berkshire East, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. In turn each BCU is split into Local Policing Areas (LPAs) that are coterminous with local authority boundaries.

The headquarters of Thames Valley Police is at Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxfordshire. The force is covered by two control rooms, with the one in Abingdon covering Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, and one in Milton Keynes covering the Borough of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire East.

The three "PECs" (Police Enquiry Centres) were formed in 2003, following the closure of local control rooms, to support the newly formed control rooms in Abingdon and Milton Keynes. They are located in Windsor police station, in a business park close to the Force Headquarters in Kidlington and a small team at Milton Keynes control room. The PECs handle non-emergency and emergency calls from the public.

Sulhamstead House in Sulhamstead is the Thames Valley Police training college, which also houses the Thames Valley Police Museum.

There are also several Roads Policing bases at strategic locations around the force at Abingdon, Bicester, Taplow, Amersham, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Three Mile Cross and Chieveley.

Thames Valley Police station in St Aldate's, Oxford.

In the media

The most famous Thames Valley Police officer may be the fictional Inspector Morse (along with his aide, Sergeant Lewis), the main character in 13 novels by Colin Dexter and 33 television episodes by ITV. Also, Inspector Barnaby's Midsomer Murders often have recognizable Thames Valley crime scenes, poorly concealed behind such fictitious names as "Causton" (Wallingford).

In 1982 the BBC broadcast a nine part series by Roger Graef and Charles Stewart entitled Police, which showed a fly-on-the-wall account of Thames Valley's E Division based in Reading. This featured the rather demeaning treatment of a female victim of rape which was much discussed in the media at the time.[9]

Between 2003 and 2008 a Sky1 programme, Road Wars, followed the Roads Policing Proactive Team while they carried out their duties.

See also


External links

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