VIDEO: Thames Valley Police chief issues Halloween warning

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood NNL-150104-152526001
Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood NNL-150104-152526001

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood urged people to consider whether they really need to phone 999 at Halloween as it is a busy time of year for emergency services.

The head of the force also spoke about its campaign on modern slavery, its work around National Hate Crime Awareness Week, social media success and recruitment in a monthly video.

But on Halloween, Mr Habgood said: “This is traditionally a time where we see an increase in demand and we will be resourcing that accordingly.

“So yes absolutely if it’s an emergency, if you need the police to deal with things then please do contact us on the most appropriate number, whether its the three nines system or the 101.

“But actually there might be other organisation that are better placed to deal with the issues you are wanting to contact us about and then that gives the opportunity to focus on the most vulnerable and those who really do need our support.”

In Mr Habgood’s October update, released on Friday (October 13), he commended the Hidden Harm campaign, a force wide campaign aimed at tackling abuse in our communities.

The campaign will run across the next 18 months and look at different types of abuse from domestic abuse to child abuse.

The first focus of the campaign is modern slavery and he urged people to find out more information about it on its website.

“It’s really important that we understand what the signs might be and we open our eyes to that abuse and make sure that we then have the courage and confidence to be able to report it to either the police or various other organisations,” he said.

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week and TVP will be continuing to raise awareness of this issue and encourage reporting.

“I want to make sure that people have the confidence and courage to be able to report these things to us so that we can support you and make sure that you are referred on to other organisations that may be able to support you,” Mr Habgood said.

“And also that we investigate it and take action against those people that committed this sort of abuse.”

Mr Habgood celebrated the fact TVP has recently achieved 100,000 followers on Facebook in the video, and encouraged people interested in joining the force to look into its police officer recruitment drive.

“It’s a fantastic career and as I look back on my time as a police officer I have loved all aspects of it,” he said.

“There have been some challenges, it’s tough at times but it’s incredibly rewarding to play a part in keeping our communities safe.”

What do you think TVP’s priorities should be? Email the newsdesk with the details on our contact us page.