New Met rules could ben­e­fit Bucks po­lice

Lon­don re­cruits will have to live in the cap­i­tal

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

RULE changes for Lon­don po­lice re­cruits could lead to more peo­ple ap­ply­ing to join the force which cov­ers Bucks.

Thames Val­ley Po­lice has his­tor­i­cally strug­gled to re­cruit enough of­fi­cers be­cause the neigh­bour­ing Metropoli­tan Po­lice pays higher salaries, has bet­ter ben­e­fits and free Tube travel for its staff.

This has led to many of its of­fi­cers choos­ing to live in com­mu­ni­ties such as Che­sham, Amer­sham and Lit­tle Chal­font, where prop­erty is cheaper than in the cap­i­tal.

But this could come to an end from to­mor­row (Fri­day), when new re­cruits to the Met will be re­quired to have lived in Lon­don for at least three of the last six years. This will re­strict peo­ple liv­ing out­side the cap­i­tal from ap­ply­ing to join the force.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures, Thames Val­ley Po­lice has 37 fewer po­lice of­fi­cers per 100,000 peo­ple than the na­tional av­er­age.

De­spite a slight in­crease in the size of the force this year, Thames Val­ley only has 189 of­fi­cers look­ing af­ter ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple in its area, com­pared with a na­tional av­er­age of 226.

In March 2013 the force – which po­lices Bucks, Ox­ford­shire and Berk­shire – had 4,322 po­lice of­fi­cers. In March this year, the fig­ure had risen by 24, to 4,346.

Noel Brown, who rep­re­sents the Chiltern District Coun­cil on the Thames Val­ley Po­lice and Crime Panel, thinks the area has enough of­fi­cers, es­pe­cially in the Chiltern and South Bucks ar­eas.

“You have to re­mem­ber there’s some ar­eas which have a much safer feel­ing about crime than other ar­eas,” he said. “Here is deemed a safe area com­pared with ar­eas like Read­ing and Ox­ford.

“At a time of po­lice cut­backs, it’s about bal­ance and I don’t think the bal­ance is too un­ac­cept­able.”

Na­tion­ally, new po­lice of­fi­cers are paid £22,221 a year. Metropoli­tan Po­lice of­fi­cers get Lon­don weight­ing of about £6,615 on top of this and of­fi­cers in the South East get a liv­ing al­lowance of about £2,000.

Mr Brown added: “His­tor­i­cally, this has been a prob­lem be­cause they of­fer more money, but quite a few do come back be­cause they pre­fer liv­ing here with­out the has­sle of travel.”

Thames Val­ley Po­lice had not pro­vided a com­ment at the time of go­ing to press.

Here is deemed a safe area com­pared with ar­eas like Read­ing

and Ox­ford”

SCHOOLS from across Bucks took part in the Ac­tive Gamerz World Cham­pi­onships at Sir Wil­liam Ram­say School, High Wy­combe.

Groups of 14 pupils from each school, aged be­tween eight and 11, were se­lected to par­tic­i­pate in front of an au­di­ence of nearly 500 peo­ple on Sun­day, July 13.

Among them was Wid­mer End Com­mu­nity Com­bined School, Holmer Green Ju­nior School and St Joseph’s Catholic Pri­mary School in Chal­font St Peter.

Ac­tive Gamerz is a new con­cept con­ceived in Bucks, which com­bines sport and tech­nol­ogy. Pupils use com­puter games to com­pete in a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Speak­ing on be­half of Ac­tive Gamerz, James Tweed said: “Chil­dren need the ac­cu­racy and pre­ci­sion of ath­letes. Peo­ple say that gam­ing is hold­ing chil­dren back, so we use par­tic­i­pa­tion via tech­nol­ogy to in­stead bring out the best in them.”

Over­all, Wid­mer End came sec­ond in its group, beaten by Cedar Park in the quar­ter fi­nals. Holmer Green Ju­nior also came sec­ond in its group, los­ing to Hughe­den Pri­mary, and Loud­wa­ter Com­bined qual­i­fied for the quar­ter fi­nals over St Joseph’s af­ter a 2-0 play-off win.

The day be­longed to Cedar Park Pri­mary,

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