The Chiltern Community Forum exists principally to discuss and set neighbourhood policing priorities for the Chiltern district. It was created at the instigation of former Chiltern District Council’s Community Safety team, and works in conjunction with Thames Valley Police.
In addition, the Forum seeks to promote community engagement, and encourage involvement by individuals, businesses and other stakeholders within the area.
Browsing the FAQs below should answer most questions about the Forum; if we have missed something, please feel free to contact us and ask, or suggest additional information for inclusion.
Why does the Forum exist?
The principle of ‘Policing by Consent’ is a long standing philosophy of British policing, in which policing is underpinned by public approval. Through local accountability and demonstrable impartiality, trust and confidence of communities is maintained. It is also in part why policing in the UK is performed by regional forces, rather than a national force.
Clearly, however, there must be force-wide, national priorities. Police forces throughout the UK need to balance these with the more local demands of neighbourhood policing, just as essential in maintaining the confidence of the public.
A statutory requirement is laid down by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, that a chief officer of police must:
- make arrangements for obtaining the views of persons within each neighbourhood about crime and disorder in that neighbourhood;
- must make arrangements for providing persons within each neighbourhood in with information about policing in that neighbourhood;
- and arrangements must be made for regular meetings between persons within the neighbourhood and police officers with responsibility for supervising or carrying out policing in that neighbourhood.
This feedback assists prioritisation of resources, whilst the forums give the opportunity for the public and the Police to discuss priorities in an informed way.
Who is the Forum for?
The Chiltern Community Forum exists therefore for the benefit of the entire Chiltern community. It is relevant to anyone with concerns about crime, or interested in crime reduction and prevention. It should also be of interest to all who would like Chiltern to be a better, safer place to live and work.
What area does the Forum cover?
The Chiltern Community Forum covers the area formerly administered by Chiltern District Council, and covered by the Chiltern Local Policing Area (LPA). The main residential and business areas are therefore Chesham, Amersham, the Chalfonts, the Missendens and surrounding villages.
A similar forum exists in the South Bucks area.
Who is involved?
The Chiltern Community Forum is an independent group, set up at the instigation of the former Chiltern District Council, and working with the Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood Policing team for Chiltern. Its committee meets quarterly and is chaired by Andy Garnett. Meeting times and venues are published on this web site, by Thames Valley Police, via social media, and by mailshots to parish and Town Councils, and other groups.
Representatives of Thames Valley Police attend all committee meetings. It is important to stress that anyone is welcome to attend and participate at committee meetings.
Prior to the move to a unitary Buckinghamshire Council, the Chiltern and South Bucks Community Safety Partnership adopted a multi-agency approach, which is generally accepted to be the most effective way to combat crime, disorder and the fear of crime within the community. A joint three year Plan was produced to address the priorities that affect both the Districts.
Organisations that worked in partnership with the Chiltern and South Bucks Community Safety Partnership included:
- Thames Valley Police
- Buckinghamshire County Council including Public Health
- Thames Valley Probation
- Community Rehabilitation Company (MTCNovo)
- Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group
- Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Town and Parish Councils
- Local Community Groups, such as Residents’ Associations, Watch Schemes, etc
- Voluntary Organisations
As at end-June 2020, we are still awaiting clarification on whether the Forum will have any role alongside Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Safety team, which has a similar objective to “work with partners to reduce crime and the fear of crime in Buckinghamshire.”
Priority Setting – the Process
Policing priorities for the coming quarter are set at the committee meeting. Beforehand, residents are invited to complete an online survey to express their views and preferences. From a list of 22, they are asked to select their top three neighbourhood priorities for the Chiltern Community Forum to address over the next three months.
Information from the survey is collated, analysed and presented at the committee meeting. This helps inform decisions on priorities taken at the meeting.
Decisions are announced on this website and elsewhere. Progress reports are presented by Thames Valley Police at the following meeting, and again these are published.
What are the 22 Priorities we can choose from?
The 22 priorities are set out on the online form. They are:
- Anti-social behaviour
- Burglary – residential properties
- Burglary – sheds and garages
- Burglary – commercial properties
- Child sexual exploitation
- Dog fouling
- Cyber crime / Fraud
- Modern slavery
- Rogue traders/ Scams
- Drug dealing
- Theft from vehicles
- Theft of vehicles
- Violence against a person
- Rural crime
- Drug and alcohol misuse
- Cyber bullying
- Criminal damage
- Knife Crime
- Other (for respondent to specify):
What are the current top three priorities?
Please visit our Priorities page.
How do I get more information on crime and policing within my neighbourhood?
The POLICE.UK website contains considerable information on crime and policing within local neighbourhoods. This includes a local crime map, information on the policing team, local policing priorities, performance, news and events and nominating a project for ‘community payback’.
Your local area pages can be accessed below:
The Police used to report on local policing priorities at Local Area Forums, and will participate in the new Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Boards. How do these relate to the Chiltern Community Forum?
Local Area Forums (LAF), sometimes known as Local Community Partnerships (LCPs), were set up under Buckinghamshire County Council. Each LAF included representatives from the county, district and parish councils, as well as partner organisations like the police and community associations. Policing is just one of the topics covered; others may include parking, roads, health, transport and young people. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings to hear about what is happening in their local area and have their say.
LAFs met up to 4 times a year. Thames Valley Police attended LAF meetings to report on and discuss policing. This included local policing priorities, as set for Chiltern as a whole by the Chiltern Community Forum.
The Chiltern Local Police Area covers three Community Board areas (Amersham, Chesham and Villages, Missendens), plus half of a fourth (Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfonts). It is planned that these will meet five times a year, and they will have sub-Groups covering matters of community importance.
‘Community Boards taking shape’ – posted 3rd September 2020.
Dates of upcoming meetings, including links to the relevant pages on Buckinghamshire Council’s website, can be found on our Diary Dates page.
It is as yet (1st September 2020) unclear how or whether the Forum will interact with Community Boards.
Using this website
Chiltern Community Forum (“CCF”, “the Forum”, “we”, “us”) is an independent community body working in conjunction and Thames Valley Police Chiltern Local Police Area.
CCF’s principal stated objective is to set policing priorities for the Chiltern area. In addition, the Forum seeks to promote community engagement, and encourage involvement by individuals, businesses and other stakeholders within the area. The overall goal is to make the Chiltern community more resilient, and for Chiltern to be a better, safer place to live and work.
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