New Met rules could benefit Bucks police
London recruits will have to live in the capital
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
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,