When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Building firms asked to help pay for policing new estates
DEVELOPERS could have to pay thousands of pounds to help fund extra policing in Bicester as the town expands.
And the extra cash could include paying for more neighbourhood officers or computer tablets so police can file paperwork from the streets.
With up to 10,000 homes planned for Bicester and a further 3,000 in Banbury over the next 20 years police may look to claim almost £1m in funds from developers.
Members of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel were asked how the force planned to deal with the region’s rapid expansion.
Chief Constable Sara Thornton said one problem the force faced was keeping up with population growth despite a shrinking budget.
She said they would be looking at section 106 agreements and added: “We don’t want large communities being built with no police footprint.”
Supt Colin Paine said police faced a “number of challenges” as Bicester expanded. He added: “We will look to maximise contributions from developers towards policing.”
The Cherwell and West Oxfordshire commander said officers were already seeing issues related to a growing population in Bicester with drug dealers travelling from London and the West Midlands to the town.
Developer contributions – section 106 contributions – fund libraries, new bus services, projects like public art and highway improvements.
Last June, Cherwell District Council was forced into a u-turn after it refused £141,084 for policing at the planned Graven Hill site. Councillors agreed to renegotiate with the Ministry of Defence to spend less money on public art in favour of the police.
Thames Valley Police did not say how much cash it would pursue from developers, but by using the base figure of £141,000 for 1,900 homes, the Oxford Mail multiplied it by 13,000 homes to get £971,000.
One of the developers which could face a new police levy is A2Dominion, which is building the first phase of the 6,000 home eco town at North West Bicester. A spokesman said: “A2Dominion is committed to ensuring that the necessary and relevant provision is made to meet the needs of the future residents.”
Bicester councillor Les Sibley said: “The police need the tools and financial resources to continue to safeguard our community and developers need to play a financial part in that.”
s DOMESTIC abuse victims are treated well by Thames Valley Police, an inspection has revealed.
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said the force was good at identifying victims, keeping them safe, and assessing their needs. But inspectors found more could be done to help victims in the medium and standard risk category.
Nationally, the HMIC branded the police response to domestic abuse inadequate saying it must be improved.
Comments are closed on this article.