July 4, 2022. News

Violence Reduction Unit launches Operation Pacation: Partnership problem-solving in Oxford and Slough

Today (Monday 4 July), officers and staff from the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) launched a week of problem-solving activity focused on tackling hotspots for violence in two areas of Oxford and Slough.

Operation Pacation – defined as ‘the act of making peace’ – involves a range of partners working together to identify and solve problems to make a local area safer.   

Officers and staff from the VRU will be attending two specific local areas where there have been instances of violence, bringing together partners and community representatives to focus on contributing problems and how they can work together to solve them.

Each operation is a jointly-undertaken community survey with members of the VRU, the neighbourhood policing team, local authority community safety team, youth workers, voluntary sector organisations and representatives from community groups.

Together, they discuss any local issues and how each different agency could work to solve them. They  identify any physical improvements and maintenance that may be required, consider the availability of services for those who live in the area and how the voluntary and community sector can bring new opportunities.

Each operation will engage with local people, consulting on their experiences and perceptions of the local area, seeking their feedback on practical matters and suggestions for improvements to the area that can ultimately improve safety and reduce violence.

Following the surveys this week, partners will work together to agree their actions and next steps. The Community Payback scheme will also be involved, supporting any maintenance or improvement efforts where appropriate over coming weeks.

PC Kirstin Harding led the operation delivered in Oxford on Monday 4 July:

“Operation Pacation is an opportunity to galvanise some joined-up working to solve problems in a particular area which may be contributing to community safety issues.

“It has been a hugely positive exercise, allowing us to identify a range of shared problems which we can now look to address. 

“We saw the need to combat fly-tipping, fix broken lighting and street furniture, tackle overgrown vegetation and enhancing CCTV.   These are simple issues which can improve the look and feel of the local environment.

“We had some great engagement from local people, explaining the loss of community services such as the local youth club and the cost of the leisure centre.  We’ve discussed whether we can bring a mobile community centre over coming months, opportunities for some community gardening schemes, increased sports equipment and activities.

“As a partnership we will now work to address all the points, with the aim of making some quick improvements that will make this local area safer and more enjoyable.”