POLICE in West Oxfordshire insist their priorities remain the same, despite a change in personnel.

Helen Roberts took over the role as acting chief inspector and Local Police Authority (LPA) Commander from Supt Colin Paine on January 2.

Based at Witney Police Station Ms Roberts will be in the position at least until the new financial year starts in April.

Ms Roberts, 47, said: “It is a new challenge for me but we will be focusing on continuing on the same lines. We have the same priorities – burglaries to dwellings are highest on the list as are auto crimes and metal thefts. There are a lot of thefts from vehicles, with particularly the theft of catalytic converters on the increase. While lead theft has trailed off a bit other metal thefts continue.

“Assaults remain a priority. The centre of Witney can be very busy on Saturday nights. We want not just to detect assaults but reduce the number of assaults. It is not just about reducing crime it is about reducing the fear of crime. That also means issues like anti-social behaviour.”

Ms Roberts has worked in West Oxfordshire for two and a half years, serving as the deputy commander for 18-months.