Top cop says goodbye to "fantastic" WokinghamBy Laura Herbert
January 21, 2013
The borough’s top police officer said farewell on Friday as he moves to Oxford to take up a promotion as superintendent.
Since becoming commander of Wokingham police in October 2010, Chief Inspector Christian Bunt has achieved a 21 per cent reduction in crime in Wokingham last year – the highest reduction across the Thames Valley Police.
He said: “Wokingham has been a fantastic area to police and work with the partners.
“There is really strong partnership work which has had a huge impact on reducing crime over the last couple of years. The reduction in crime continues to go down at a high rate.”
Ch Insp Bunt made tackling anti-social behaviour a priority and has achieved a reduction of around 40 per cent in the last two years.
He said: “I put that down to our partnership work trying to solve the issues and good, positive policing.
“My message was to be positive and robust and I think we have done that and the figures show it.”
Ch Insp Bunt policed Wokingham for the last time on Friday and took up his post as Superintendent of Oxford city on Monday. He will be replaced by Chief Inspector Rob France.
Ch Insp Bunt said: “I’m very sad to leave Wokingham – I have enjoyed working with the communities.
“There is a very positive and active community in Wokingham and people support the police and what we do. I will look back on my time here fondly.”
He continued: “The area has moved on over the last couple of years – we have had some fantastic performance results and hopefully people feel safer and more secure.”
Ch Insp Bunt added: “I’m extremely excited about being Superintendent of Oxford, which is a more challenging area for me. Wokingham has given me an excellent grounding on a smaller, lower crime area. I grew up in Oxford so I know the city.”
During his time policing Wokingham, Ch Insp Bunt said one of his highlights was tackling a string of Asian jewellery burglaries.
He explained: “It involved offenders from outside the area who targeted one section of the community and solving this was an indication of how working with the community can help.
“We did a lot of work in terms of engagement and I developed new links with the community I didn’t have previously.”
For the last two years Ch Insp Bunt has also been the commander in charge of the Henley Regatta in Remenham. He said: “We had lots of issues previously around crime and disorder and we have seen significant reductions in assaults over that time of 87 per cent.
“If I leave any legacy in Wokingham that will be the biggest one.”
Ch Insp Bunt added: “Everything hasn’t been perfect but the key results matter to the community.
“I had a superb team and there are a lot of committed and enthusiastic police officers in Wokingham.”
Chief Inspector Rob France has been announced as the new top cop in Wokingham.
Ch Insp France took on the role as Wokingham Local Policing Area (LPA) Commander on Monday.
He said: “It is with great enthusiasm that I step into this new role, and am looking forward to working with and for the people of Wokingham.
“There are particularly strong partnerships in Wokingham, and I am looking forward to working with partners to make Wokingham an even safer place to live, work and visit."
Ch Insp France previously moves to Wokingham on promotion to Chief Inspector and was previously the CID Detective Inspector for West Oxfordshire.