New Chief Constable sets out his plans

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The new Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police says he wants to work with the public to help keep Milton Keynes a safe place to live and work.

Francis Habgood was made chief two months ago following his appointment by the Police Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood

Chief Constable Francis Habgood

Before that he was Deputy Chief Constable for the force for six years, but first joined TVP 11 years ago from West Yorkshire Police.

Speaking to the Citizen today, Mr Habgood said he will be dealing with the threat of hefty budget cuts and investing in technology to allow officers to deal with crime more effectively.

He said: “I am very proud - it is an honour and privilege to be the chief - both to serve the communities I have been part of policing for the past eleven years but also to lead some fantastic people - officers, staff and volunteers.

“I inherit a force that has been doing really well in terms of some of the traditional crime measures.

“Crime has been going down in certain areas. In Milton Keynes you have seen a reduction in certain areas like dwelling burglaries, which are at the lowest level for 25 years and we have had local reductions too.

“When you put that into the context of Milton Keynes’ growing population, I am always astounded that we continue to see those reductions despite that quite significant population growth every year.

“But we have got some challenges ahead.

“We know the there are going to continue to be budget reductions.

“Policing at the Home Office is not a protected department so we are going to see continued cuts, but we have a good history in terms of how we have managed that.

“But if you look at Milton Keynes over the last five years has increased the numbers of people in the local police area to accommodate some of the growth in terms of population.

“I don’t know what the level of cuts will be in the future or how quickly we will have to make them, but we are planning for that now. It’s too early to say what those plans are at the moment.”