Thames Valley Police want the public’s opinions on the force’s front counter provision.

The consultation began on January 4, which will allow residents across Berks, Bucks, and Oxon to see whether or not they are currently needed.

TVP is currently reviewing this as part of a commitment to adapt to the different ways in which people contact the police, as well as making financial savings.

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The consultation could see five front counter services removed if the public agrees with the notion, reducing the number from 16 to 11, which would save approximately £1.4m.

Additionally, since March last year, TVP has operated with just five of its 16 front counter sites and in October, seven were re-opened.

And if the proposal is approved, Amersham, Bicester, Bracknell, HQ South in Kidlington, and Witney will close.

Assistant Chief Constable Ben Snuggs said: “The way in which our communities contact and engage with us continually evolves, with this rate of change accelerating significantly during the pandemic.

“As you might expect, we have seen an increase in contact with us by phone and online.

“Contacting us online is proving a convenient way for people to report non-emergency crimes or incidents, Covid-19 breaches, apply for firearms licensing, tell us about something of concern or to update us on a crime report among many other functions.

“We want to ensure we continue to operate in line with these changing public expectations and do so as well as possible.

“TVP is committed to providing a high-quality service to the public so that when people need us, they can contact us swiftly and easily. As this involves people physically coming to police buildings less and less, it is right that we continue to adapt our digital, online, and phone response accordingly.

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“It is important to emphasise that this proposal does not affect police officer numbers, nor the number of police bases we have, and so the public will not experience any difference in police visibility in our communities.

“We are also offering support to our staff who are affected by this proposal and have kept them up to date with the proposed changes.

“We are hoping to keep any staff changes to a minimum to reduce the impact on our workforce.”

TVP also revealed that under the current plans, the force will retain 11 of its front counters at Milton Keynes, Oxford, Reading, Slough, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Abingdon, Banbury, Newbury, Loddon Valley, and Maidenhead.

It was also revealed that the station's opening times were to be reviewed. 

TVP has 79 police bases force-wide, which are not affected, nor being consulted upon.

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The consultation, which is hosted on the digital platform Snap, will run until Sunday, January 31.

If you would prefer to obtain a paper version, call 01865 542895 to leave your address for a copy of the consultation to be sent to you.