Sharma chairs sixth public meeting with Thames Valley Police in Calcot

25th June 2013

Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has held the sixth in a series of public meetings across the Reading West constituency for residents to hear from senior police officers from Thames Valley Police. The meeting took place on Thursday 20th June 2013 at Kennet Valley Free Church in Calcot and was attended by in excess of 50 people.

Alok chaired the meeting, which was also attended by the head of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Warren McKeown, Neighbourhood Sergeant, Michael Adams and West Berkshire Council Crime Reduction Manager, Rachel Craggs.

Speaking on the panel, Inspector McKeown highlighted the reduction in crime across the Calcot and Holybrook area, including a reduction in the number of home break-ins down from 115 (April to March 2011-12) to 44 (April to March 2012-13) and vehicle crime down from 141 (2011-12) to 100 (2012-13).

Rachel Craggs spoke about her role within the Safer Communities Partnership to help co-ordinate responses to crime and anti-social behaviour with Thames Valley Police and Sovereign Housing, as well working with offenders to help stop repeat crimes. The Safer Communities Partnership brings together West Berkshire Council, Thames Valley Police, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Probation who work collaboratively to ensure that West Berkshire continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit.

The panel were later questioned on a number of policing and local issues including: the need for security lights on garages, anti-social driving issues, what the public can do to help the police, the priorities of the Police, enforcement of bus lanes, speeding and incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Alok Sharma said: “This meeting was another excellent opportunity to hear residents’ concerns about local policing issues and to enhance the dialogue between the police and the wider community and I will be following up on a number of the issues raised with local residents.”

Alok continued: “I was very pleased to hear about the reduction in vehicle crime and the number of home break-ins in Calcot and Holybrook, which is a great credit to the combined hard work of the Police and West Berkshire Council, working in partnership with local people.”

Police Area Commander for West Berkshire, Superintendent Robin Rickard said: “This valuable meeting compliments the wide range of public consultation activities that the police in West Berkshire are committed to. The benefits of meeting local residents with Alok Sharma, MP, cannot be underestimated as residents concerns often concern more than one agency. The concerns and issues that we discussed at the meeting last week help agencies to ensure that resources are in the right place working with communities to solve problems.”

Photo: Alok Sharma chairs the public meeting with Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Warren McKeown, Neighbourhood Sergeant, Michael Adams and West Berkshire Council Crime Reduction Manager, Rachel Craggs.